Elevated and sustained intracellular calcium signalling is necessary for efficacious induction of the human sperm acrosome reaction

Priyanka Prajapati, Shruti Kane, Rachel C. McBrinn, Morven S. Dean, Sarah J. Martins da Silva*, Sean G. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Progesterone and prostaglandin E1 are postulated to trigger the human sperm acrosome reaction (AR). However, their reported efficacy is very variable which likely, in part, reflects the plethora of experimental conditions and methodologies used to detect this physiologically relevant event. The purpose of this study was to develop an assay for the robust induction and objective measurement of the complete AR. Sperm from healthy volunteers or patients undertaking IVF were treated with a variety of ligands (progesterone, prostaglandin E1 or NH4Cl, alone or in combinations). AR, motility and intracellular calcium measurements were measured using flow cytometry, computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and fluorimetry, respectively. The AR was significantly increased by the simultaneous application of progesterone, prostaglandin E1 and NH4Cl, following an elevated and sustained intracellular calcium concentration. However, we observed notable inter- and intra-donor sample heterogeneity of the AR induction. When studying the patient samples, we found no relationship between the IVF fertilization rate and the AR. We conclude that progesterone and prostaglandin E1 alone do not significantly increase the percentage of live acrosome-reacted sperm. This assay has utility for drug discovery and sperm toxicology studies but is not predictive for IVF success.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11253
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number19
Early online date24 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Sperm physiology
  • Acrosome reaction
  • Human sperm
  • CatSper
  • Ion channel
  • Progesterone
  • Prostaglandins
  • Intercellular calcium
  • Fertilisation

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