Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insight Into Male Infertility

Date:
November 19, 2001
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A new study, appearing in the November 16 issue of Science, found that mice lacking a certain protein in their sperm were infertile. The study provides valuable insight into male infertility and paves the way for further advancements in infertility.

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- A new study, appearing in the November 16 issue of Science, found that mice lacking a certain protein in their sperm were infertile. The study provides valuable insight into male infertility and paves the way for further advancements in infertility.

A team of Mayo Clinic researchers led by Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., including Ningling Kang-Decker, Ph.D., George Mantchev, M.D., Subhash Juneja, Ph.D. and Mark McNiven, Ph.D., identified that the Hrb protein affects the sperm's ability to fertilize an egg. In the study, researchers deleted the gene that produces the Hrb protein in mice, which made the mice infertile. They concluded that this lack of Hrb protein prevents the acrosome from forming, making egg penetration impossible. The acrosome, which develops as the sperm matures, is a structure that contains a bag of enzymes covering the head of the sperm. The enzymes contained in the acrosome help penetrate and digest the outer sheath of the egg, thereby allowing conception.

"It has long been known that healthy acrosome development is essential for fertility and is often defective in men with certain types of infertility," says Dr. van Deursen. "This study now identifies the specific protein needed for healthy acrosome development, resulting in fertility."

Dr. van Deursen says that although male infertility has many causes, if there is a link between defective Hrb protein and acrosome development, future screening for this protein deficiency may help eliminate that as a specific cause of infertility.

"The findings will not lead to immediate therapeutic advances in fertility treatment," says Dr. van Deursen. "However, the findings provide valuable insight into the molecular basis of fertility."

He adds that the next step will be to study infertile men to determine if they have the defective Hrb protein. This will enable researchers to further define the importance of Hrb in acrosome formation.

"By understanding how healthy cells should function, we will eventually understand and identify defective cells," says Dr. van Deursen. "This is a first step in understanding male infertility."

About one in 12 couples in the United States is affected by infertility which is defined as the inability to conceive after at least one year of trying. Ten to 15 percent of couples are infertile. Of these couples, a problem occurs in the male reproductive system in about 30 percent of cases and contributes to the infertility problem in an additional 20 percent of cases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Insight Into Male Infertility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011119072439.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2001, November 19). Insight Into Male Infertility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011119072439.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Insight Into Male Infertility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011119072439.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins