Paper-Based Resazurin Assay of Inhibitor-Treated Porcine Sperm.

Affiliation

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan. [Email]

Abstract

Porcine sperm motility was assessed via resazurin reduction color change in sperm cells using a novel paper-based assay of our own design. We applied mixtures of resazurin solution and porcine semen onto hydrophilic test circles on our paper-based device and investigated the resulting reduction reaction expressed as red and blue color intensity (RBCI). We quantified this reaction using a blue/pink color ratio from our 8 × 3 = 24 bit RGB color image. To examine enzymatic reactivity in sperm cells, we used two inhibitors: 3-Nitropropanoic acid (3-NPA) and 3-Bromopyruvic acid (3-BP). 3-NPA inhibits the citric acid cycle and electron transfer reaction in mitochondria, but did not strongly reduce sperm motility in our tests. 3-BP decreases reactivity of both mitochondrial electron transfer and glycolytic enzymes in cytosol, which significantly lowers porcine sperm motility. RBCIs of 3-NPA- and 3-BP-treated samples were significantly lower compared to our untreated control (p < 0.025). Based on these results, we feel that resazurin can be used to estimate the amount of reductants with and without inhibitor treatment. For continued research assessing the molecular mechanisms of resazurin reduction in porcine sperm, a combination assay using two or more redox indicators (e.g., resazurin and Thiazolyl Blue Tetrazolium Bromide (MTT)) embedded into our paper-based device could further our understanding of sperm cell bioenergetics.

Keywords

paper-based assay,porcine sperm motility,redox reaction,resazurin,

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