Association of the developing acrosome with multiple small Golgi units, the Golgi satellites, in spermatids of the musk shrew, Suncus murinus

H. Iida, T. Kaneko, S. Tanaka, T. Mori

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The spermatozoa of the musk shrew, Suncus murinus, have a fan-like giant acrosome with a diameter of approximately 20 μm. The aim of this study was to investigate how this giant acrosome is constructed in the musk shrew spermatid and, in particular, how the Golgi apparatus involved in acrosome formation behaves. The behaviour of the Golgi apparatus was monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy with antibody against a Golgi-associated Rab6 small GTPase. In the early Golgi phase, small Golgi units, the Golgi satellites, localized as a large aggregate in the juxtanuclear cytoplasm. As acrosome formation progressed, the Golgi satellites gradually dispersed, associated with proacrosomal vesicles and an acrosomal vesicle, and finally became distributed as multiple small units over the whole surface of an acrosomal cap in the round spermatid. The mode of acrosome formation in musk shrews was distinctly different from that in rats and mice, in which the Golgi apparatus remains as a single unit throughout acrosome formation. In musk shrews, the proacrosomal vesicles formed successively by the Golgi satellites coalesced, one after another, into a potential acrosomal vesicle. This process may result in further enlargement of the acrosome. The results of the present study indicate that Golgi satellites are necessary for the biogenesis and development of the giant acrosome in musk shrew spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology

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