Sonographic evidence for the involvement of the utero-ovarian counter-current system in the ovarian control of directed uterine sperm transport.
Sperm transport from the cervix into the tube is an important uterine function within the process of reproduction. This function is exerted by uterine peristalsis and is controlled by the dominant ovarian structure via a cascade of endocrine events. The uterine peristaltic activity involves only the stratum subvasculare of the myometrium, which exhibits a predominantly circular arrangement of muscular fibres that separate at the fundal level into the fibres of the cornua and continue into the circular muscles of the respective tubes. Since spermatozoa are transported preferentially into the tube ipsilateral to the dominant follicle, this asymmetric uterine function may be controlled by the ovary via direct effects utilizing the utero-ovarian counter-current system, in addition to the systemic circulation. To test this possibility the sonographic characteristics of the uterine vascular bed were studied during different phases of the menstrual cycle. Vaginal sonography with the measurement of Doppler flow characteristics of both uterine arteries and of the arterial anastomoses of the uterine and ovarian arteries (junctional vessels) in the cornual region of both sides of the uterus during the menstrual phase of regular-cycling women demonstrated significant lower resistance indices of the junctional vessels ipsilateral to the side of the dominant ovarian structure as compared with the corresponding arteries contralaterally. By the use of the perfusion mode technique, it could be observed that vascular perfusion of the fundal myometrium was significantly increased ipsilateral to the dominant follicle during the late follicular phase of the cycle. These results show that the endocrine control of the dominant ovarian structure over uterine function is not only exerted via the systemic circulation but also directly, most probably utilizing the utero-ovarian counter-current system. (+info)
Risk of testicular cancer in subfertile men: case-control study.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between subfertility in men and the subsequent risk of testicular cancer. DESIGN: Population based case-control study. SETTING: The Danish population. PARTICIPANTS: Cases were identified in the Danish Cancer Registry; controls were randomly selected from the Danish population with the computerised Danish Central Population Register. Men were interviewed by telephone; 514 men with cancer and 720 controls participated. OUTCOME MEASURE: Occurrence of testicular cancer. RESULTS: A reduced risk of testicular cancer was associated with paternity (relative risk 0.63; 95% confidence interval 0.47 to 0.85). In men who before the diagnosis of testicular cancer had a lower number of children than expected on the basis of their age, the relative risk was 1.98 (1.43 to 2.75). There was no corresponding protective effect associated with a higher number of children than expected. The associations were similar for seminoma and non-seminoma and were not influenced by adjustment for potential confounding factors. CONCLUSION: These data are consistent with the hypothesis that male subfertility and testicular cancer share important aetiological factors. (+info)
Molecular analysis of the cystic fibrosis gene reveals a high frequency of the intron 8 splice variant 5T in Egyptian males with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens.
It has previously been shown that defects in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene are largely responsible for the condition of congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD), without associated renal abnormalities, in Caucasian populations. To assess the involvement of the CFTR in CBAVD in a population with presumed low cystic fibrosis (CF) frequency, we have analysed 20 CBAVD males from Egypt for the presence of 12 common Caucasian CFTR mutations and the intron 8 5T splice variant, IVS-5T, known to be a major cause of CBAVD in Caucasian patients. In 16 of the males without associated renal abnormalities only one deltaF508 carrier was identified, but an exceptionally high frequency of the IVS-5T variant was found (14 of 32 alleles or 43.7%), confirming that this variant is involved in many cases of CBAVD, even in populations where CF is rare. CFTR mutations or the IVS-5T variant were found neither in the remaining four patients with associated renal abnormalities nor in the spouses of the 20 CBAVD patients. However, one patient was homozygous for a leucine to proline substitution at amino acid position 541 (L541P) of the CFTR. It is as yet not clear whether this change is involved in CBAVD in this male. (+info)
Expression of CD44 in human cumulus and mural granulosa cells of individual patients in in-vitro fertilization programmes.
CD44 is a polymorphic and polyfunctional transmembrane glycoprotein widely expressed in many types of cells. Here, the expression of this protein on human membrana granulosa was studied by two techniques. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) with the mouse monoclonal antibody to human CD44 (clone G44-26), cells immunoreactive for CD44 were observed in both cumulus and mural granulosa cell masses. On the other hand, using monoclonal antibody to human CD44v9, goat polyclonal antibody to human CD44v3-10 and the clone G44-26, no immunoreactivity for CD44v9 and/or CD44v3-10 was observed in either cell group by flow cytometry. In the flow cytometric analysis of 32 patients, the incidence of CD44 expression in cumulus cells (62.6+/-1.3%) was significantly higher than that in mural granulosa cells (38.5+/-3.2%) (P<0.0001). In the comparison of CD44 expression by flow cytometry according to the maturation of each cumulus-oocyte complex, the incidence of CD44 expression of cumulus cells was significantly higher in the mature group than in the immature group (P<0.05). In a flow cytometric analysis, patients with endometriosis showed a significantly lower incidence of CD44 expression in cumulus cells compared to the infertility of unknown origin group (P<0.05), and compared to both the male infertility group and the unknown origin group in mural granulosa cells (P<0.01). These findings suggest that the standard form of CD44 is expressed in human membrana granulosa with polarity and may play an important role in oocyte maturation. (+info)
Y chromosome and male infertility.
Recent genome analysis of the Y chromosome has increased the number of genes found on this chromosome markedly. Many of these genes in the part of the Y chromosome that does not undergo recombination with the X chromosome are members of gene families. Evolutionary considerations imply that genes on the Y chromosome will degenerate unless they have male advantageous or female deleterious functions. Spermatogenesis is an example of a male advantageous function and genes in three regions of the human Y chromosome have been promoted as candidate male fertility factors. (+info)
Origin of DNA damage in ejaculated human spermatozoa.
The molecular basis of many forms of male infertility is poorly defined. One area of research that has been studied intensely is the integrity of the DNA in the nucleus of mature ejaculated spermatozoa. It has been shown that, in men with abnormal sperm parameters, the DNA is more likely to possess strand breaks. However, how and why this DNA damage originates in certain males and how it may influence the genetic project of a mature spermatozoon is unknown. Two theories have been proposed to describe the origin of this DNA damage in mature spermatozoa. The first arises from studies performed in animal models and is linked to the unique manner in which mammalian sperm chromatin is packaged, while the second attributes the nuclear DNA damage in mature spermatozoa to apoptosis. One of the factors implicated in sperm apoptosis is the cell surface protein, Fas. In this review, we discuss the possible origins of DNA damage in ejaculated human spermatozoa, how these spermatozoa arrive in the ejaculate of some men, and what consequences they may have if they succeed in their genetic project. (+info)
Mouse MutS-like protein Msh5 is required for proper chromosome synapsis in male and female meiosis.
Members of the mammalian mismatch repair protein family of MutS and MutL homologs have been implicated in postreplicative mismatch correction and chromosome interactions during meiotic recombination. Here we demonstrate that mice carrying a disruption in MutS homolog Msh5 show a meiotic defect, leading to male and female sterility. Histological and cytological examination of prophase I stages in both sexes revealed an extended zygotene stage, characterized by impaired and aberrant chromosome synapsis, that was followed by apoptotic cell death. Thus, murine Msh5 promotes synapsis of homologous chromosomes in meiotic prophase I. (+info)
Varicocele and infertility in men.
Varicocele is an important cause of infertility in men. The exact mechanism by which varicocele depresses spermatogenesis is unknown but probably the retrograde flow of blood rich in catecholamines into the testes plays a major role. Because subfertile semen qualities are present in a large percentage of men with varicocele and because the response to surgical procedures is very good, high ligation of the left internal spermatic vein is recommended in men with varicocele and infertility. (+info)