Fertilization Potential of Human Sperm Is Correlated with Endogenous Platelet-Activating Factor Content

  • Andrew A. Toledo
  • Dorothy Mitchell-Leef
  • Carlene W. Elsner
  • Scott M. Slayden
  • William E. Roudebush


Purpose: Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is a potent signaling phospholipid that is found in mammalian sperm and has a positive correlation with fertility. Whereas PAF is present in human sperm, there are no relational reports on its content and the cells fertilization potential. Therefore, the study objective was to determine if PAF content in capacitated-induced sperm is related to fertilization potential as determined by the sperm penetration assay (SPA).

Methods: Endogenous sperm lipids were measured for PAF content by a specific radioimmunoassay following insemination of zona pellucida-free hamster ova. Data were analyzed by regression analysis and Student's t test.

Results: Regression analysis revealed a positive and significant relation (R2 = 0.806; P < 0.05) between PAF content in human sperm and SPA outcome (pass: ≥5.0; fail: <5.0, penetrations/ova). Patients that passed (22.61 ± 5.21 picomoles/106) the SPA had significantly (P < 0.01) higher PAF levels in their sperm than patients that failed (12.91 ± 1.76 picomoles/106 cells) the test.

Conclusions: PAF content in capacitated-induced sperm has a significant and positive relationship with fertilization potential. Fertilization potential may be predicted by measuring PAF levels in capacitation-induced human sperm. Determining PAF content in capacitated human sperm may be a beneficial diagnostic tool for the infertility specialist.

Fertilization potential human sperm platelet-activating factor SPA 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew A. Toledo
    • 1
  • Dorothy Mitchell-Leef
    • 1
  • Carlene W. Elsner
    • 1
  • Scott M. Slayden
    • 1
  • William E. Roudebush
    • 1
  1. 1.Reproductive Biology AssociatesAtlanta

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