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Low physiological levels of prostaglandins E2 and F improve human sperm functions

Mariana Rios A, Daniela V. Carreño A, Carolina Oses A, Nelson Barrera A, Bredford Kerr B and Manuel Villalón A C

A Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Alameda 340, 8331150, Santiago, Chile.
B Centro de Estudios Científicos, Valdivia, Chile.
C Corresponding author. Email: mvillalon@bio.puc.cl

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD14035
Submitted: 12 February 2014  Accepted: 23 June 2014   Published online: 13 August 2014

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Prostaglandins (PGs) have been reported to be present in the seminal fluid and cervical mucus, affecting different stages of sperm maturation from spermatogenesis to the acrosome reaction. This study assessed the effects of low physiological PGE2 and PGF concentrations on human sperm motility and on the ability of the spermatozoa to bind to the zona pellucida (ZP). Human spermatozoa were isolated from seminal samples with normal concentration and motility parameters and incubated with 1 μM PGE2, 1 μM PGF or control solution to determine sperm motility and the ability to bind to human ZP. The effects of both PGs on intracellular calcium levels were determined. Incubation for 2 or 18 h with PGE2 or PGF resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the percentage of spermatozoa with progressive motility. In contrast with PGF, PGE2 alone induced an increase in sperm intracellular calcium levels; however, the percentage of sperm bound to the human ZP was doubled for both PGs. These results indicate that incubation of human spermatozoa with low physiological levels of PGE2 or PGF increases sperm functions and could improve conditions for assisted reproduction protocols.

Additional keywords: assisted reproduction technologies, human spermatozoa.


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