Binder of Sperm Proteins (BSPs) are the most abundant seminal plasma protein family in the ram and bull. They have been extensively studied in the bull but less is known about their function in ovine seminal plasma and current knowledge suggests that BSPs may have different effects in these two species. In the bull, they facilitate capacitation and destabilize the sperm membrane during in vitro handling, whereas in the ram, they appear to stabilize the sperm membrane and prevent cryopreservation-induced capacitation-like changes. Further investigation into the effects of BSPs on ram spermatozoa under capacitating conditions is required to further clarify their physiological roles in the ram. We investigated the effects of Binder of Sperm Proteins 1 and 5 on epididymal ram spermatozoa in conditions of low, moderate, and high cAMP. BSPs had minimal effects on sperm function in low-cAMP conditions, but caused significant changes under cAMP upregulation. BSP1 stabilized the membrane and qualitatively reduced protein tyrosine phosphorylation, but significantly increased cholesterol efflux and induced spontaneous acrosome reactions. BSP5 slightly increased spontaneous acrosome reactions and caused sperm necrosis. However, BSP5 had minimal effects on membrane lipid order and cholesterol efflux and did not inhibit protein tyrosine phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate that under maximal cAMP upregulation, BSP1 affected ram spermatozoa in a manner comparable to bull spermatozoa, while BSP5 did not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-775
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • sperm capacitation
  • ovine
  • seminal plasma


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