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Asian J Androl. 2007 Sep;9(5):690-6.

Protease activated receptor 2 and epidermal growth factor receptor are involved in the regulation of human sperm motility.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Technical University Munich, Biedersteiner Strasse 29, Munich, Germany.



To investigate mechanisms of tryptase-induced reduction of sperm motility and explore whether epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) and protease activated receptor 2 (PAR-2)- associated pathways are involved.


Fresh semen was collected from healthy donors (n = 15). Semen parameters and quality were assessed in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Swim-up sperm were fixed and subjected to immunocytochemistry and immunoelectronmicroscopy with specific antibodies directed against PAR-2 and EGF-R. Protein extractions from swim-up spermatozoa were analyzed by Western blotting with antibodies for both receptors. Motility of spermatozoa was evaluated by computer-assisted semen analysis.


Immunocytochemistry found PAR-2 and EGF-R in approximately 30% of examined human ejaculated spermatozoa. Both receptors were localized in the plasma membrane. Like tryptase, the PAR-2 synthetic agonist SLIGKV reduced sperm motility, and this effect was inhibited by application of two specific EGF-R pathway blockers (AG1478 and PD168393).


The observed reduction of sperm motility by tryptase through the PAR-2 receptor involves EGF-R pathways.

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