New requirements for male fertility

Apr 26, 2010

Two independent groups of researchers have identified distinct roles for two proteins in a family of proteins known as PLA2s as crucial for sperm function and fertility in mice. These data identify proteins that could underlie causes of infertility and provide potential targets for the development of new contraceptive agents and new approaches to treating infertility. In addition, these data provide a caution to those developing drugs that target members of this closely related group of proteins to treat hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and inflammation.

The team of researchers led by Makoto Murakami, at The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Japan, found that sPLA2-III was expressed in a region of the testis known as the proximal epididymal epithelium. Mice lacking this protein had substantially decreased fertility because their sperm did not mature properly. Specifically, the defects in maturation meant that the sperm showed decreased motility and decreased ability to fertilize eggs in vitro.

In the second study, Christophe Arnoult and colleagues, at Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, France, found in mice that group X secreted PLA2 (also known as mGX) was a predominant constituent of a compartment in sperm known as the acrosome. This compartment has a key role in breaking down the coat that surrounds an egg so that the sperm can elicit fertilization. Consistent with this, male mice lacking mGX produced smaller litters than did normal male mice and sperm from the mGX-deficient mice were not efficient at fertilizing eggs in vitro. Further, molecules that inhibited mGX and molecules that more broadly inhibited secreted PLA2s each reduced the efficiency of (IVF). By contrast, the presence of additional mGX improved the efficiency of IVF.

Explore further: Radiologist recommendations for chest CT have high clinical yield

More information:
Group III secreted phospholipase A2 regulates epididymal sperm maturation and fertility in mice. View this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/4049… 97a554ce7a008712aa57
Group X phospholipase A2 is released during sperm acrosome reaction and controls fertility outcome in mice. View this article at: www.jci.org/articles/view/4049… ec2760d5fdcfa04f0042

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microfluidics may be a new method of IVF

Oct 13, 2005

University of Michigan technology more closely mirroring natural fertilization process is showing promise as a new method of in-vitro fertilization.

Possible genetic factor for male infertility identified

Sep 15, 2009

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have discovered a gene involved with the production of sperm that may contribute to male infertility and lead to new approaches to male contraception.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.