The ovarian microenvironment plays a crucial role in ensuring the reproductive success of viviparous teleosts. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the interaction between spermatozoa and the ovarian microenvironment has remained elusive. This study aimed to contribute to a better understanding of this process in black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii) using integrated multi-omics approaches. The results demonstrated significant upregulation of ovarian complement-related proteins and pattern recognition receptors, along with remodeling of glycans on the surface of spermatozoa at the early spermatozoa-storage stage (1 month after mating). As spermatozoa were stored over time, ovarian complement proteins were progressively repressed by tryptophan and hippurate, indicating a remarkable adaptation of spermatozoa to the ovarian microenvironment. Before fertilization, a notable upregulation of cellular junction proteins was observed. The study revealed that spermatozoa bind to ZPB2a protein through GSTM3 and that ZPB2a promotes spermatozoa survival and movement in a GSTM3-dependent manner. These findings shed light on a key mechanism that influences the dynamics of spermatozoa in the female reproductive tract, providing valuable insights into the molecular networks regulating spermatozoa adaptation and survival in species with internal fertilization.

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