Growth/differentiation factor-15 is an abundant cytokine in human seminal plasma
Authors: Souek, Karel; Slabkov, Eva; Ovesn, Petra; Malenovsk, Alice; Kozubk, Alois; Hampl, Ale
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 25, Number 12, 11 December 2010 , pp. 2962-2971(10)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Transforming growth factor- cytokines have various biological effects in female reproductive tissue, including modulation of inflammatory response and induction of immune tolerance to seminal antigens in the reproductive tract. However, no studies have analyzed the presence of growth/differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15/macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1) in seminal fluid or demonstrated the quantity and form of GDF-15, its possible role or the relationship between its concentration and semen quality.
The form and the concentration of GDF-15 were determined in 53 seminal plasma samples of both fertile and infertile men by ELISA and western blot. The sperm cells of three volunteers were treated with recombinant GDF-15, and cell viability and apoptosis were assessed by flow cytometry. The effect of GDF-15 on vaginal epithelial cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR.
The GDF-15 concentration in seminal plasma ranged from 0.2 to 6.6 g/ml as determined by ELISA. Western blot analysis revealed that GDF-15 is present in the active form. In vitro cultivation of sperm cells with GDF-15 did not affect their viability or rates of apoptosis; however, it did inhibit proliferation of PBMCs and induce expression of FOXP3 in CD4CD25 cells.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that GDF-15 is an abundant cytokine in seminal plasma, although its concentration is not associated with semen quality or the fertility/infertility status of the donors. Moreover, our data show that GDF-15 displays immunosuppressive characteristics.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2010-12-11
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.