New requirements for male fertility

April 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.

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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

0 comments

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.