Glucocorticoids play a physiologic role in the adult male reproductive functions, modulating gonadal steroid synthesis and spermatogenesis, through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The expression of GR has been described in several key testicular cell types, including somatic cells and early germ cell populations. Nothing is known on GR in human spermatozoa. Herein, we explored the GR expression and its possible role in normal and testicular varicocele semen samples from volunteer donors. After semen parameter evaluation by macro- and microscopic analysis, samples were centrifuged; then spermatozoa and culture media were recovered for further investigations. By western blotting and immunofluorescence analyses we evidenced for the first time in spermatozoa the presence of GR-D3 isoform which was reduced in sperm from varicocele patients. By treating sperm with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEXA), we found that survival, motility, capacitation, and acrosome reaction were increased in both healthy and varicocele samples. GR involvement in mediating DEXA effects, was confirmed by using the GR inhibitor mifepristone (M2F). Worthy, we also discovered that sperm secretes different cortisol amounts depending on its physio-pathological status, suggesting a defence mechanism to escape the immune system attach in the female genital tract thus maintaining the immune-privilege as in the testis. Collectively, our data suggests a role for glucocorticoids in determining semen quality and function, as well as in participating on sperm immune defensive mechanisms. The novelty of this study may be beneficial and needs to take into account in artificial insemination/drug discovery aimed to enhancing sperm quality

Glucocorticoids improve sperm performance in physiological and pathological conditions: their role in sperm fight/flight response

Rago, Vittoria
;
Vivacqua, Adele
;
Aquila, Saveria
2023-01-01

Abstract

Glucocorticoids play a physiologic role in the adult male reproductive functions, modulating gonadal steroid synthesis and spermatogenesis, through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The expression of GR has been described in several key testicular cell types, including somatic cells and early germ cell populations. Nothing is known on GR in human spermatozoa. Herein, we explored the GR expression and its possible role in normal and testicular varicocele semen samples from volunteer donors. After semen parameter evaluation by macro- and microscopic analysis, samples were centrifuged; then spermatozoa and culture media were recovered for further investigations. By western blotting and immunofluorescence analyses we evidenced for the first time in spermatozoa the presence of GR-D3 isoform which was reduced in sperm from varicocele patients. By treating sperm with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEXA), we found that survival, motility, capacitation, and acrosome reaction were increased in both healthy and varicocele samples. GR involvement in mediating DEXA effects, was confirmed by using the GR inhibitor mifepristone (M2F). Worthy, we also discovered that sperm secretes different cortisol amounts depending on its physio-pathological status, suggesting a defence mechanism to escape the immune system attach in the female genital tract thus maintaining the immune-privilege as in the testis. Collectively, our data suggests a role for glucocorticoids in determining semen quality and function, as well as in participating on sperm immune defensive mechanisms. The novelty of this study may be beneficial and needs to take into account in artificial insemination/drug discovery aimed to enhancing sperm quality
2023
Human sperm, Varicocele, Glucocorticoid receptor, Male infertility
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/361418
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