Effects of Extracellular Adenosine 5'-Triphosphate on Human Sperm Motility
Extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) previously has been shown to increase the fertilization percentage in human in vitro fertilization (IVF) performed for male factor infertility. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATPe) on human sperm function by examining its effects on end points of sperm capacitation. Sperm obtained from healthy volunteers with normal semen parameters, asthenozoospermic men, and cryopreserved samples were incubated in medium with or without 2.5 mM ATPe. The effects of ATPe on acrosomal exocytosis, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and sperm motility parameters were quantified. Although ATPe did not affect acrosomal exocytosis or protein tyrosine phosphorylation in sperm from healthy donors, it significantly altered several motility parameters, with the largest effects manifested in increased curvilinear velocity and percentage hyperactivation. ATPe similarly affected sperm selected for poor motility and thawed cryopreserved sperm but to a lesser extent than its effects on sperm with normal motility. ATPe increased straight-line velocity and linearity of sperm obtained from asthenozoospermic men. Human sperm motility characteristics are altered by ATPe; this finding may explain its previously reported beneficial effect on human IVF. These results suggest that ATPe could constitute a new therapeutic modality in the treatment of male infertility.
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