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Growth Horm IGF Res. 1999 Aug;9(4):236-40.

IGF-I treatment increases motility and improves morphology of immature spermatozoa in the GH-deficient dwarf (dw/dw) rat.

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Research Centre for Developmental Medicine and Biology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


It has recently been shown that short-term growth hormone (GH) treatment can increase the motility of spermatozoa in the GH-deficient dw/dw rat. To examine whether the effects of GH on motility of immature spermatozoa are mediated by an increase in plasma concentrations of IGF-I, we treated GH-deficient dw/dw rats with 2 microg/g/day of IGF-I using osmotic minipumps. Body weight (saline 227+/-5 g, IGF-I 253+/-4 g) and IGF-I concentrations in blood plasma (saline 472+/-19.9 ng/ml, IGF-I 986+/-43.6 ng/ml) and seminal vesicle fluid (saline 30.9+/-1.7 ng/ml, IGF-I 47.9+/-2.9 ng/ml) were significantly increased with IGF-I treatment (P<0.001), similar to the observed responses to GH therapy in our earlier study. While epididymal fluid IGF-I concentrations were not changed, IGF-I treatment significantly increased the number of immature motile spermatozoa (saline 14.4+/-3.5%, IGF-I 28.3+/-4.1%, P<0.05) and the number of spermatozoa with normal morphology (control 65.7+/-3.3%, IGF-I 75+/-1.9%, P<0.05). These data suggest that increasing the circulating concentrations of IGF-I in the GH-deficient rat can improve the motility and morphology of immature spermatozoa and thus mimic, at least in part, the effects of GH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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