Acrosomal marker SP-10 (gene name Acrv1) for staging of the cycle of seminiferous epithelium in the stallion

Anamaria Cruz, Derek B. Sullivan, Karen F. Doty, Rex A. Hess, Igor F. Canisso, Prabhakara P. Reddi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acrosome plays a critical role in sperm-oocyte interactions during fertilization. SP-10 is an acrosomal matrix protein, which is evolutionarily conserved among mammals. The SP-10 antibody has been shown to be useful for staging the seminiferous cycle in the mouse and human. A canonical acrosomal marker; however, has never been used for staging in the horse. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the presence of SP-10 within the horse acrosome using an anti-mouse SP-10 antibody, to classify spermatids based on the shape of the acrosome, and then to use that information to assign stages of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium. Testes from mature stallions with history of normospermic ejaculates were used for immunohistochemistry. We found that the mouse SP-10 antibody stained the horse acrosome vividly in testis cross-sections, indicating evolutionary conservation. Previous methods based on morphology alone without the aid of an antibody marker showed 8 stages in the horse seminiferous epithelium. Morphological detail of the acrosome afforded by the SP-10 marker in this study identified 16 steps of spermatids. This, in turn, led to the identification of 12 distinct stages in the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium of the horse wherein stage I shows recently formed round spermatids and stage XII includes meiotic divisions; a classification that is consistent with other animal models. The SP-10 antibody marks the acrosome in a way that enables researchers in the field to identify stages of spermatogenesis in the horse easily. In conclusion, we demonstrated that immunolabeling for SP-10 can be an objective approach to stage the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium in normospermic stallions; future studies will determine if SP-10 could be used to assess testicular dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • Acrosomal protein SP-10
  • Cycle of the seminiferous epithelium
  • Horse testis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Stages
  • Stallion fertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Small Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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