Artificially selected human sperm morphology after swim-up processing
Abstract:The swim-up technique is a clinical practice used to select highly motile sperm cells from patient ejaculates to use in assisted fertilization. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the length of different sperm-cell components is related to gamete function. Thus, we explored whether swim-up technique selects for longer sperm cells than mean sperm cells from unprocessed ejaculates. Sperm midpiece, tail endpiece, and total length were measured before and after the swim-up selection by means of contrast-phase and electron microscopy. Correlations between sperm dimensions, sperm motility, and sperm concentration were also investigated. Swim-up selected cells with longer midpiece compared with the unprocessed fractions (5.8 μm (CI 5.52–6.16 μm) vs. 5.3 μm (CI 4.97–5.61 μm), p < 0.05) and shorter tail endpiece (7.8 μm (CI 7.11–8.44 μm) vs. 8.5 μm (CI 7.81–9.14 μm), p < 0.05 after meta-analysis), whereas no effect of swim-up selection was detected on the total sperm cell length. Individuals producing high sperm concentrations had longer sperm midpiece than had men producing lower sperm concentrations. It is concluded that short sperm flagellar tips with long midpieces may be used as biomarkers in infertility therapy.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: SLU, Inst. Aquatic Resources, Freshwater Laboratory, Stångholmvägen 2, SE-178 93 Drottningholm, Sweden.
Publication date: September 7, 2012
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