A Franco-German team of researchers has just discovered a new cause of male infertility: some “defective” spermatozoa could not move in a straight line.
In France, it is estimated that 1 in 4 couples fail to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of trying: we speak of infertility. In 30% of cases, infertility comes from men: it may be a question of erectile dysfunction, abnormalities in sperm production (poor quality and / or low quantity) or even abnormalities anatomical (very pronounced curvature of the penis, for example).
A team of French and German researchers (from the Institut Curie, the Université Paris-Saclay and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics) may have just discovered a new cause of male infertility: the bad sperm trajectory …
‘Manufacturing defect’ prevents sperm from going straight
The researchers studied mouse sperm under an electron microscope. They discovered that the spermatozoa which evolve in a straight line (normally, therefore) present an essential modification at the level of a specific protein composing their flagellum, this “tail” which allows them to move in a straight line: this is glycylation. . Without glycylation, the sperm are unable to “swim” straight to the egg.
Exactly: the researchers identified “defective” spermatozoa, that is to say without glycylation, among those taken from mice. “In the absence of glycylation (…) we suddenly saw sperm swimming in circles (…) which resulted in reduced fertility. Similar defect in men could lead to male infertility“explained the scientists who published their work in the specialized journal Science.
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