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Int J Androl. 1997 Feb;20(1):10-6.

Influence of fibronectin on the motility of human spermatozoa.

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Department of Anatomy, Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany.


The objective of the present study was to scrutinize the concentration of seminal fibronectin and the potential effects of exogenous fibronectin on human sperm motility. In addition, variability in the localization of fibronectin on human spermatozoa from andrological patients was studied, at both the light and electron microscopic levels. A total of 58 freshly ejaculated semen samples from patients attending for infertility treatment were submitted to sperm motility analysis and ELISA quantification of seminal plasma and cell-bound fibronectin. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy revealed a relatively broad distribution pattern of fibronectin immunoreactivity on sperm heads and testicular spermatids. Addition of a fibronectin antiserum to vital spermatozoa in vitro at a moderate dilution (1:50) resulted in a significant increase in sperm motility. Purified plasma fibronectin, added at various concentrations to a preparation of live spermatozoa, was found to inhibit sperm motility in a dose-dependent manner. At concentrations from 0.18 to 0.5 mg fibronectin per ml ejaculate, no motile spermatozoa were recorded. Seminal plasma fibronectin ranged between 0.8 and 1000 micrograms/ml in infertility patients. There was a significant inverse correlation between sperm motility and seminal fibronectin in patients with oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia. In a preliminary study in patients with varicocele or hypogonadism, no such correlation was found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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