The physiological roles of intracellular progesterone (PRG) receptors (PRs) have been studied intensively in female mammals, while their functions in male are scarce. Conventional PRs were evidenced in our study by Western blotting, concomitantly in healthy spermatozoa and in oligoasthenoteratozoospermic samples without and with varicocoele. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of the PRs on the membrane as well as in the nucleus, mitochondria and flagellum. A reduced expression of the PRs was observed only in varicocoele spermatozoa. Responses to PRG treatment on cholesterol efflux, tyrosine phosphorylation, src and Akt activities, acrosin activity and acrosome reaction in varicocoele spermatozoa were reduced or absent. To further investigate PRG significance in human male gamete, we focused its action on lipid and glucose metabolism. The evaluation of the triglycerides content, lipase and acyl-CoA dehydrogenase activities suggests that PRG through the PRs exerts a lipolytic effect on human spermatozoa. An increase in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity was also obtained, evidencing a role for PRG on glucose metabolism. In 'varicocoele' spermatozoa, the PRG did not induce energy consumption. The action of PRs on sperm metabolism is a novel finding that renews the importance of PRG in male fertility. Our results showed that varicocoele may lead to male factor infertility by a mechanism involving a decreased PR expression in human spermatozoa that evidences a detrimental effect on spermatozoa at the molecular level, going beyond the abnormal sperm morphology described to date.

Conventional progesterone receptors (PR) B and PRA are expressed in human spermatozoa and may be involved in the pathophysiology of varicocoele: a role for progesterone in metabolism.

DE AMICIS, FRANCESCA;ANDO', Sebastiano;Aquila S.
2011

Abstract

The physiological roles of intracellular progesterone (PRG) receptors (PRs) have been studied intensively in female mammals, while their functions in male are scarce. Conventional PRs were evidenced in our study by Western blotting, concomitantly in healthy spermatozoa and in oligoasthenoteratozoospermic samples without and with varicocoele. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of the PRs on the membrane as well as in the nucleus, mitochondria and flagellum. A reduced expression of the PRs was observed only in varicocoele spermatozoa. Responses to PRG treatment on cholesterol efflux, tyrosine phosphorylation, src and Akt activities, acrosin activity and acrosome reaction in varicocoele spermatozoa were reduced or absent. To further investigate PRG significance in human male gamete, we focused its action on lipid and glucose metabolism. The evaluation of the triglycerides content, lipase and acyl-CoA dehydrogenase activities suggests that PRG through the PRs exerts a lipolytic effect on human spermatozoa. An increase in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity was also obtained, evidencing a role for PRG on glucose metabolism. In 'varicocoele' spermatozoa, the PRG did not induce energy consumption. The action of PRs on sperm metabolism is a novel finding that renews the importance of PRG in male fertility. Our results showed that varicocoele may lead to male factor infertility by a mechanism involving a decreased PR expression in human spermatozoa that evidences a detrimental effect on spermatozoa at the molecular level, going beyond the abnormal sperm morphology described to date.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/135329
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