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Asian J Androl. 2006 May;8(3):301-6.

The expression and significance of CATSPER1 in human testis and ejaculated spermatozoa.

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  • 1Centre of Reproductive Medicine, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China.



To investigate the distribution of cation channel of sperm 1 (CATSPER1) protein and the presence of CATSPER1 mRNA in human testis and ejaculated spermatozoa. The influence of anti-human CATSPER1 antibody upon human sperm motility was used to evaluate the function of human CATSPER1 and to estimate its possible use as a target for immunocontraception.


Human ejaculated sperm from normozoospermic donors (n = 12) and liquid nitrogen frozen human testis were used for the study of mRNA and protein expression of CATSPER1 by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Spermatozoa from normozoospermic donors (n = 12) were individually processed using a swim-up procedure and were then incubated with CATSPER1 antibody at final concentrations of 20, 4 and 0.8 microg/mL. After 1, 2 and 6 h incubation, progressive motility and fast progressive motility were measured by means of computer-assisted semen analysis.


CATSPER1 transcript was detected in both human testis and each human ejaculated semen sample. CATSPER1 protein expressed in the membrane of spermatid and was localized in the principal piece of the sperm tail. The application of CATSPER1 antibody at all concentrations significantly inhibited both progressive motility and fast progressive motility after 1, 2 and 6 h incubation, and significant dose-dependent changes were observed.


CATSPER1 is meiotically and post-meiotically expressed in human testis tissue. CATSPER1 mRNA in human ejaculated spermatozoa could be a more feasible target for study and infertility screening than testis biopsy. In addition, our results suggest that human CATSPER1 could be a possible target for immunocontraception.

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