(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: The essence of senescence
Student Author(s): Verbinski, Steven G.
Faculty Advisor(s): Epel, David
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1991
Abstract: Spermatozoa from the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus are shown to lose the ability to fertilize soon after dilution. Acrosomal reaction studies, using both nascent and senescent sperm, demonstrate that sperm are becoming insensitive to egg jelly (the natural inducer of the acrosomal reaction ) with time. Although unable to respond to the jelly stimulus, aged sperm suspensions yield a high percentage of acrosomal reactions when treated with Ca++ ionophore A23187. Hence, impaired potency arises from the inability to "receive" the egg jelly ligand and initiate a Ca++ influx. Possible causes of this acquired ability are discussed.