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A great deal of circumstantial evidence has linked DNA damage in human spermatozoa with adverse reproductive outcomes including reduced fertility and high rates of miscarriage. Although oxidative stress is thought to make a significant contribution to DNA damage in the male germ line, the factors responsible for creating this stress have not been(More)
BACKGROUND Optimization of assisted conception outcomes involves the development of rapid, safe, effective techniques for the isolation of functional human spermatozoa free from significant DNA damage. In this study we describe a novel electrophoretic sperm isolation technique that achieves these objectives. METHODS The separation system consisted of a(More)
Mammalian spermatozoa undergo a series of molecular and biochemical changes collectively termed capacitation prior to acquiring the ability to fertilise the oocyte. Although phosphorylation of sperm proteins on tyrosine residues has been recognised as an important component of this process, the precise relationship between the phosphorylation status of(More)
The process of capacitation is a pre-requisite for mammalian spermatozoa allowing them to gain the ability to fertilize an oocyte. A fundamental part of this mechanism is a dramatic increase in the level of tyrosine phosphorylation. Implicated in this process is a unique cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated pathway involving an intermediate PKA-activated(More)
Mammalian ovarian primordial follicle activation and regulation is considered as one of the most important stages of folliculogenesis and as such requires exquisite control. Selection of quiescent follicles to enter the growing pool determines the rate of supply of maturing follicles over the female reproductive lifespan. To coordinate this process a range(More)
The recognition and binding of a free-swimming spermatozoon to an ovulated oocyte is one of the most important cellular interactions in biology. While traditionally viewed as a simple lock and key mechanism, emerging evidence suggests that this event may require the concerted action of several sperm proteins. In this study we examine the hypothesis that the(More)
Capacitation is a remarkable process whereby spermatozoa prepare themselves for engagement with the oocyte. Although the existence of this process has been appreciated as a biological phenomenon for more than half a century, its molecular underpinnings still await clarification. We know that some of the major changes involve sterol oxidation and efflux from(More)
As part of a systematic study of rabbit epididymal proteins involved in sperm maturation, we have identified and characterized a novel glycoprotein (rabbit epididymal secretory protein 52 [REP52]) of 52 kDa. REP52 is synthesized and secreted in a tissue-specific manner by the mid (region 6) and distal (region 7) corpus epididymidis and associates weakly(More)
At the moment of insemination millions of mammalian sperm cells are released into the female reproductive tract in order to find a single cell – the oocyte. The spermatozoa subsequently ignore the thousands of cells they make contact with during their journey to the site of fertilisation, until they reach the surface of the oocyte. At this point, they bind(More)
BACKGROUND DNA damage in the male germ line is associated with poor fertilization and cleavage rates, impaired embryo quality and early pregnancy loss. Given these associations, embryologists are keen to develop techniques that will allow the selection of viable spermatozoa exhibiting low levels of DNA damage for assisted conception purposes. METHODS In(More)