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Zygote. 1999 Aug;7(3):187-93.

Effect of sperm immobilisation and demembranation on the oocyte activation rate in the mouse.

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Department of Anatomy and Reproductive Biology, University of Hawaii Medical School, Honolulu 96822, USA.


To analyse the effect of the state of the sperm plasma membrane on oocyte activation rate following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), three types of human and mouse spermatozoa (intact, immobilised and Triton X-100 treated) were individually injected into mouse oocytes. At 30, 60 and 120 min after injection, maternal chromosomes and sperm nuclei within oocytes were examined. Following human sperm injection, the fastest and the most efficient oocyte activation and sperm head decondensation occurred when the spermatozoa were treated with Triton X-100. Intact spermatozoa were the least effective in activating oocytes. Thus, the rate of mouse oocyte activation following human sperm injection is greatly influenced by the state of the sperm plasma membrane during injection. When mouse spermatozoa were injected into mouse oocytes, the rates of oocyte activation and sperm head decondensation within activated oocytes were the same irrespective of the type of sperm treatment prior to injection. We witnessed that live human spermatozoa injected into moue oocytes often kept moving very actively within the ooplasm for more than 60 min, whereas motile mouse spermatozoa usually became immotile within 20 min after injection into the ooplasm. In 0.002% Triton X-100 solution, mouse spermatozoa are immobilised faster than human spermatozoa. These facts seem to suggest that human sperm plasma membranes are physically and biochemically more stable than those of mouse spermatozoa. Perhaps the physical and chemical properties of the sperm plasma membrane vary from species to species. For those species whose spermatozoa have 'stable' plasma membranes, prior removal or 'damage' of sperm plasma membranes would increase the success rate of ICSI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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