Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13) and neutral endopeptidase (NEP/CD10) are enzymes present in human sperm cells and involved in regulation of sperm motility of noncapacitated spermatozoa. We investigated the involvement of APN/CD13 and NEP/CD10 in motility and in kinematic parameters of human capacitated spermatozoa. Sperm cells isolated by a discontinuous Percoll gradient (40%–80%) followed up by swim-up techniques were incubated with the APN/CD13-specific inhibitor, leuhistin (100 μmol L−1), and the NEP/CD10-specific inhibitor, thiorphan (1 μmol L−1). The complete inhibition of both APN/CD13 and NEP/CD10 improved sperm motility. Spermatozoa incubated with the APN/CD13-specific inhibitor leuhistin showed asymmetrical trajectories, whereas sperm trajectories were more regular after treatment with the NEP/CD10-specific inhibitor thiorphan. In conclusion, APN/CD13 and NEP/CD10 modulate the motility of capacitated spermatozoa, although each of the enzymes seems to participate in the control of different aspects of sperm motility. Therefore, both inhibitors may be useful for sperm activation at different functional stages of spermatozoa.
Keywords: APN/CD13, human, hyperactivation, kinematic, motility, NEP/CD10, sperm