Aquila S, Guido C, Middea E, et al.. Human male gamete endocrinology: 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) regulates different aspects of human sperm biology and metabolism. Reprod Biol Endocrinol.7:140

Dept Pharmaco-Biology, University of Calabria 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Cosenza, Italy.
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 2.41). 11/2009; 7(1):140. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7827-7-140
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A wider biological role of 1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), the active metabolite of vitamin D3, in tissues not primarily related to mineral metabolism was suggested. Recently, we evidenced the ultrastructural localization the 1,25(OH)2D3 receptor in the human sperm. However, the 1,25(OH)2D3 action in human male reproduction has not yet been clarified.
By RT-PCR, Western blot and Immunofluorescence techniques, we demonstrated that human sperm expresses the 1,25(OH)2D3 receptor (VDR). Besides, 25(OH)D3-1 alpha-hydroxylase, evidenced by Western blot analysis, indicated that in sperm 1,25(OH)2D3 is locally produced, highlighting the potential for autocrine-paracrine responses. 1,25(OH)2D3 through VDR, increased intracellular Ca2+ levels, motility and acrosin activity revealing an unexpected significance of this hormone in the acquisition of fertilizing ability. In sperm, 1,25(OH)2D3 through VDR, reduces triglycerides content concomitantly to the increase of lipase activity. Rapid responses stimulated by 1,25(OH)2D3 have been observed on Akt, MAPK and GSK3 implying that this secosteroid is involved in different sperm signalling pathways.
Our data extended the role of 1,25(OH)2D3 beyond its conventional physiological actions, paving the way for novel therapeutic opportunities in the treatment of the male reproduction disorders.

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Available from: Rosalinda Bruno, Aug 19, 2015
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    • "An activity of 1 α-hydroxylase in spermatozoa cells points a local synthesis of vitamin D and its autocrine and paracrine activity (Fig. 1). 1,25[OH] 2 D increases an intracellular concentration of Ca +2 ions, and affects an activity of acrosine, one of the enzymes involved in acrosome reaction (Aquila et al., 2009). However, despite a high number of fundamental research, the available data concerning biological effect of vitamin D on fertility are very poor and often unequivocal. "
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D is currently in the scope of research in many fields of medicine. Despite that its influence on health remains uncertain. This paper presents the review of the publications concerning the role of calciferol in reproduction processes and its significance in infertility therapy covering topics of polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis infertility, myoma infertility, male infertility, premature ovary failure and in vitro fertilization techniques. The results of latest research articles in those fields has been discussed and summarized. The deficiency of vitamin defined as the concentration of 25-hydroxycalciferol <20 ng/ml is frequently noted in patients of fertility clinics. Serum vitamin D concentration in healthy women is higher comparing to PCOS patients. The supplementation with vitamin D should be applied in the schemes of PCOS treatment both due to an improved insulin resistance and the results of infertility treatment. The explanation of vitamin D activity mechanism in patients with PCOS requires further research. Vitamin D have direct effect on AMH production, and thus increase longer maintenance of ovarian reserve in the patients with its higher concentration. The occurrence of uterine myomas in the group with vitamin D deficiency was evaluated as much higher comparing to controls. On the other hand it is supposed that high concentration of calciferol may be related to an impaired elimination of endometrial cells passing to peritoneal cavity via ovarian reflux causing endometriosis. In male infertility both low (<20 ng/ml) and high (>50 ng/ml) concentration of vitamin D in serum negatively affects spermatozoa number per ml of semen, their progressive movement and morphology. Significant differences as a response on ovulation stimulation, number and quality of embryos depending on vitamin D concentration were not observed in none of the analyzed papers concerning the role of vitamin D in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Better results in patients without calciferol insufficiency are explained by reports about high concentration of vitamin D and its metabolites in human in decidua collected in the 1st trimester of pregnancy which suggests its contribution in proper implantation and local immunological preference of the embryo. It is accepted that the treatment requires vitamin D concentration below 20 ng/ml (up to 50 nmol/l), especially in obese women, these with insulin resistance and small ovarian reserve and in men with oligo- and asthenozoospermia.
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    • "Since spermatozoa are transcriptionally silent, and are affected by both calcium channel blockers and calcium, we speculated (supported by seven references) that vitamin D increases intracellular calcium in mature spermatozoa. Our suggestion has now been further supported by a recent study published by Aquila et al. (2009). Thus, it seems appropriate to speculate that vitamin D affects the calcium levels in spermatozoa. "
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    ABSTRACT: The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed in human spermatozoa, and VDR-knockout mice and vitamin D (VD) deficiency in rodents results in impaired fertility, low sperm counts and a low number of motile spermatozoa. We investigated the role of activated VD (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) in human spermatozoa and whether VD serum levels are associated with semen quality. Cross-sectional association study of semen quality and VD serum level in 300 men from the general population, and in vitro studies on spermatozoa from 40 men to investigate the effects of VD on intracellular calcium, sperm motility and acrosome reaction. All men delivered samples for routine semen analysis and blood for measurements of follicle stimulating hormone, Inhibin B, 25-hydroxy-VD, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH). In the association study, 44% were VD insufficient (<50 nM), and VD was inversely correlated with PTH (P < 0.0005). VD serum levels correlated positively with sperm motility and progressive motility (P < 0.05), and men with VD deficiency (<25 nM) had a lower proportion of motile (P = 0.027), progressive motile (P = 0.035) and morphologically normal spermatozoa (P = 0.044) compared with men with high VD levels (>75 nM). 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) increased intracellular calcium concentration in human spermatozoa through VDR-mediated calcium release from an intracellular calcium storage, increased sperm motility and induced the acrosome reaction in vitro. 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) increased intracellular calcium concentration, sperm motility and induced the acrosome reaction in mature spermatozoa, and VD serum levels were positively associated with sperm motility, suggesting a role for VD in human sperm function.
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