- Open Access
Sperm preparation for ART
© Henkel and Schill; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2003
- Received: 11 July 2003
- Accepted: 14 November 2003
- Published: 14 November 2003
The onset of clinical assisted reproduction, a quarter of a century ago, required the isolation of motile spermatozoa. As the indication of assisted reproduction shifted from mere gynaecological indications to andrological indications during the years, this urged andrological research to understand the physiology of male germ cell better and develop more sophisticated techniques to separate functional spermatozoa from those that are immotile, have poor morphology or are not capable to fertilize oocytes. Initially, starting from simple washing of spermatozoa, separation techniques, based on different principles like migration, filtration or density gradient centrifugation evolved. The most simple and cheapest is the conventional swim-up procedure. A more sophisticated and most gentle migration method is migration-sedimentation. However, its yield is relatively small and the technique is therefore normally only limited to ejaculates with a high number of motile spermatozoa. Recently, however, the method was also successfully used to isolate spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Sperm separation methods that yield a higher number of motile spermatozoa are glass wool filtration or density gradient centrifugation with different media. Since Percoll® as a density medium was removed from the market in 1996 for clinical use in the human because of its risk of contamination with endotoxins, other media like IxaPrep®, Nycodenz, SilSelect®, PureSperm® or Isolate® were developed in order to replace Percoll®. Today, an array of different methods is available and the selection depends on the quality of the ejaculates, which also includes production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by spermatozoa and leukocytes. Ejaculates with ROS production should not be separated by means of conventional swim-up, as this can severely damage the spermatozoa. In order to protect the male germ cells from the influence of ROS and to stimulate their motility to increase the yield, a number of substances can be added to the ejaculate or the separation medium. Caffeine, pentoxifylline and 2-deoxyadenosine are substances that were used to stimulate motility. Recent approaches to stimulate spermatozoa include bicarbonate, metal chelators or platelet-activating factor (PAF). While the use of PAF already resulted in pregnancies in intrauterine insemination, the suitability of the other substances for the clinical use still needs to be tested. Finally, the isolation of functional spermatozoa from highly viscous ejaculates is a special challenge and can be performed enzymatically to liquefy the ejaculate. The older method, by which the ejaculate is forcefully aspirated through a narrow-gauge needle, should be abandoned as it can severely damage spermatozoa, thus resulting in immotile sperm.
- Sperm Motility
- Seminal Plasma
- Human Spermatozoon
- Assisted Reproduction
Since the birth of Louise Brown on 25 July 1978 and the subsequent onset of assisted reproduction in the human, scientists and clinicians were more and more urged to improve sperm separation techniques as the percentage of andrological cases increased rapidly. While the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) cases, including that of Louise Brown, were performed to treat tubal infertility, the increasing number of men showing poor semen quality prompted the development of a wide array of different laboratory techniques focusing on the selection and enrichment of motile and functionally competent spermatozoa from the ejaculate. The first sperm separation methods available only comprised of one or two washing procedures with subsequent resuspension of the male germ cells [1–3]. Mahadevan and Baker  then described a single wash followed by a swim-up procedure from the cell pellet. Following these first reports on human sperm separation, more sophisticated methods were developed to obtain sufficient amounts of motile, functionally competent spermatozoa for IVF. Eventually, methods were developed that improved sperm functions like motility, protected sperm functions and/or reduced detrimental effects from the environmental milieu like reactive oxygen species.
In this paper, we aimed at giving an update on the main sperm separation methods including their implications and importance for modern assisted reproductive technologies as well as an overview on different in vitro treatments of spermatozoa to improve their functional competence and to reduce detrimental effects.
Under in vivo conditions, potentially fertile spermatozoa are separated from immotile spermatozoa, debris and seminal plasma in the female genital tract by active migration through the cervical mucus . During this process, not only progressively motile spermatozoa are selected, but male germ cells also undergo physiological changes called capacitation, which are fundamental prerequisites for the sperm's functional competence with regard to acrosome reaction [6, 7].
The introduction of assisted reproduction, especially of IVF, during the 1980's, led to the development of a wide range of different sperm separation methods. Following the development of the classical swim-up method by Mahadevan & Baker , more complicated techniques were developed to increase the number of motile spermatozoa even in severe andrological cases. On principle, these techniques can be differentiated in migration, density gradient centrifugation and filtration techniques. For all migration methods, the self-propelled movement of spermatozoa is an essential prerequisite, while for density gradient centrifugation and filtration techniques the methodology is based on a combination of the sperm cells' motility and their retention at phase borders and adherence to filtration matrices, respectively. The migration techniques can again be subdivided into swim-up, under-lay and migration-sedimentation methods [8, 9]. For density gradient centrifugation, separation media like Ficoll® , Nycodenz  and Percoll® [12, 13] including the products (IxaPrep®, PureSperm®, Isolate®, SilSelect®) have recently been introduced to replace Percoll® [14, 15]. The filtration methods like glass wool filtration [16, 17] and filtration of spermatozoa on Sephadex beads  and membranes  are alternative techniques.
The ideal sperm separation technique should (i) be quick, easy and cost-effective, (ii) isolate as much motile spermatozoa as possible, (iii) not cause sperm damage or non-physiological alterations of the separated sperm cells, (iv) eliminate dead spermatozoa and other cells, including leukocytes and bacteria, (v) eliminate toxic or bioactive substances like decapacitation factors or reactive oxygen species (ROS), and (vi) allow processing of larger volumes of ejaculates. Since none of the methods available meets all these requirements, a variety of sperm separation techniques is mandatory in clinical practice to obtain an optimal yield of functionally competent spermatozoa for insemination purposes. Depending on the ejaculate quality, these methods have different efficiency and areas of use. In the conventional swim-up technique, functional spermatozoa can come into close cell-to-cell contact with defective sperm or leukocytes by centrifugation, thus causing massive oxidative damages of the sperm plasma membrane by ROS and consequently of sperm functions . Therefore, the quality of the ejaculates has direct consequences on the choice of a sperm separation method.
With regard to the possible risk of a seroconversion in women and in the offspring after performing ART with spermatozoa from a HIV-positive man initial concerns arose as HIV viruses reportedly can bind to and penetrate into spermatozoa [21, 22]. Later research, however, showed that HIV-1 genomes found to an extend of 18% in seminal cells samples decreased to undetectable levels following a combined density gradient centrifugation with a subsequent swim-up . No seroconversion of the virus could be observed after fertilization of oocytes by IVF-ICSI [24–26]. Other recent research  showed that HIV RNA and DNA could be detected in separated spermatozoa even in treated patients. Thus, viral validation of separated spermatozoa is necessary and should be performed even in treated patients. Additionally, only HIV-tested maternal serum or commercially available serum albumin, which is HIV-free due to its processing, should be used as protein supplement for culture media.
In order to give an overview, only the four most common techniques classical swim-up, migration-sedimentation, density gradient centrifugation and glass wool filtration are discussed.
Apart from a simple wash and subsequent resuspension of the male germ cells, the swim-up from a washed pellet is the oldest and most commonly used sperm separation method. Originally described by Mahadevan and Baker , this method is still used largely in IVF laboratories around the world. Although its use among the male factor infertility group is very limited, the swim-up is still the standard technique for patients with normozoospermia and female infertility. Excellent fertilization rates were reported when these sperm preparations were used to inseminate human oocytes in vitro. However, as the indications for IVF were expanded beyond simple tubal factor cases to couples with idiopathic infertility and, ultimately, to male factor cases, the problem of fertilization failure appeared [28–30].
Advantages and disadvantages of the conventional swim-up method.
- easy to perform
- restricted to ejaculates with high sperm count and motility
- very cost-effective
- usually recovery of a very clean fraction of highly motile spermatozoa
- low yield
- spermatozoa can be massively damaged by reactive oxygen species
- significant decrease of the percentage of normally chromatin-condensed spermatozoa
An attempt to overcome at least the problems caused by ROS, the "swim-up" can be performed directly from the liquefied semen. During this procedure, several aliquots of liquefied semen are taken from a sample and placed in tubes underneath an overlay of culture medium. Round-bottom tubes or 4-well dishes should be used to optimize the surface area of the interface between the semen layer and the culture medium. The tubes may also be prepared by gently layering culture medium over the liquefied semen. The placing of semen underneath the culture medium, however, provides a much cleaner interface zone. A maximum recovery is obtained by using multiple tubes with small volumes of semen per tube, thus maximizing the combined total interface area between semen and culture medium. Mortimer  suggested the use of 250 μl semen and 500 to 600 μl culture medium per tube. After the incubation period, which is typically between 30 and 60 minutes, at 37°C, most of the upper culture medium layer is removed. This should be done with caution, working from the upper meniscus downwards, using a sterile pipette. Typically, 75 or 80% of the culture medium layer are removed and eventually combined, taking great care not to aspirate directly from the interface region. This procedure will also increase the total number of recovered spermatozoa, which can then also be used for ICSI .
Other swim-up methods include the swim-up of spermatozoa in a specially supplemented medium. Such substances can be SpermSelect™, which is a highly purified preparation of hyaluronic acid (Pharmacia, Uppsala, Sweden) with an average molecular weight of 3,000 kDa that was used at a final concentration of 1 mg/ml in culture medium. Compared with the traditional swim-up from a washed pellet , a swim-up directly from semen into a hyaluronic acid solution gave a significantly higher percentage of motile spermatozoa and, ultimately, the achievement of a higher pregnancy rate in a clinical IVF program . However, highly purified hyaluronic acid is expensive and it has been shown to increase the calcium-influx into spermatozoa and therefore induce acrosome reaction . Elevated local concentrations of hyaluronic acid in the cumulus oophorus have been shown to contribute to the acrosome reaction . Thus, it seems rather questionable whether this substance is favourable for IVF. In addition, whether these improved results in sperm motility were specifically due to the use of the hyaluronate or to the use of a method, which did not involve the initial pelletting of unselected spermatozoa, has not been ascertained. On the other hand, however, hyaluronic acid has been regarded as an effective alternative to test sperm penetration into human cervical mucus [41–43].
Advantages and disadvantages of the original migration-sedimentation method according to Tea et al. (1984).
- usually very clean fraction of highly motile spermatozoa
- the original method is restricted to ejaculates of high sperm count and good motility
- reactive oxygen species are reduced
- the original method has a very low recovery rate
- very gentle separation method
- special glass or plastic tubes are required
- tubes are more expensive and relatively sensitive
- for repeated use in IVF, glass and plastic tubes must be sterilized
Sánchez et al.  showed that after concentration of sperm cells in the ejaculate, even in cases with severe oligo- and/or asthenozoospermia a sufficient number of motile spermatozoa can be isolated for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) after 2–3 hours of incubation. Compared with the density gradient centrifugation, these authors also demonstrated significantly better results for progressive motility, normal sperm morphology, chromatin condensation and reduction of the percentage of dead spermatozoa as determined by the eosin test. In addition, since spermatozoa isolated by this modified migration-sedimentation technique stick markedly less to the glass surface of the injection pipettes, this method has even an advantage over the density gradient centrifugation, which is normally used for these cases. In this regard, the side migration technique that was recently proposed by Hinting and Lunardhi  is another interesting approach to obtain motile spermatozoa from very poor quality semen for ICSI as it also yielded better sperm quality.
Density gradient centrifugation
The typical methodology for the density gradient centrifugation comprised continuous  or discontinuous gradients . With continuous gradients, there is a gradual increase in density from the top of the gradient to its bottom, whereas the layers of a discontinuous gradient show clear boundaries between each other. The ejaculate is placed on top of the density media with higher density and is then centrifuged for 15–30 minutes. During this procedure, all cells reach the semen sediment. However, highly motile spermatozoa move actively in the direction of the sedimentation gradient and can therefore penetrate the boundary quicker than poorly motile or immotile cells, thus, highly motile sperm cells are enriched in the soft pellet at the bottom.
A wide variety of methods using the principle of density gradient centrifugation to fractionate subpopulations of spermatozoa has been described in the literature. Ficoll® has initially been used as gradient material for preparing spermatozoa , but by far the most widely used substance for all methods of assisted reproduction (IUI, GIFT, IVF, ICSI, etc.) have been the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated silica particles Percoll®. Normal sperm function in terms of sperm fertilizing ability as assessed in the zona pellucida-free hamster egg penetration test [20, 49], as well as in human IVF  and ICSI  was observed. In October 1996, Percoll® has been withdrawn from the market for clinical use in assisted reproduction . This was because of the risk of contaminations with endotoxins [52–54], possible membrane alteration [55, 56] and inflammatory responses that could be induced by the insemination of sperm populations contaminated with Percoll®. In addition, Percoll® adheres to the sperm membranes  and might alter them by removing coating envelopes . Therefore, intensive washing of the spermatozoa after sperm separation with Percoll® was recommended . This requires additional centrifugation and can again be detrimental to the spermatozoa because of the action of reactive oxygen species .
Another commercial product known as Nycodenz (Nyegaard & Co., Oslo, Norway) was also used as a density gradient material for preparing human spermatozoa. Nycodenz is the same molecule, iohexol, as used in the X-ray contrast medium Omni-paque. Studies revealed a low incidence of adverse reactions during angiography . Both continuous and discontinuous Nycodenz gradients were evaluated, of which a four-layer discontinuous gradient was found to produce populations of highly motile spermatozoa with better yields and survival than either swim-up or Percoll® gradients from oligozoospermic and asthenozoospermic semen samples [11, 59]. Compared with the conventional swim-up procedure from a pelleted sperm population, the use of Nycodenz also seems to be superior regarding sperm penetration into zona-free hamster eggs . Thus, this technique has clearly great potential in the preparation of motile spermatozoa from poor quality semen for IVF use and warrants further investigation.
Other replacement products for Percoll® that were introduced into the market from the mid nineties and more commonly used in assisted reproduction are IxaPrep® (MediCult, Copenhagen, Denmark), SilSelect® (FertiPro N.V., Beernem, Belgium), PureSperm® (NidaCon Laboratories AB, Gothenburg, Sweden) or ISolate® (Irvine Scientific, Santa Ana, CA, USA). In contrast to Percoll®, which is a PVP-coated silica that can have deleterious effects on sperm membranes , all these replacement products contain silane-coated silica particles, are adjusted for the osmolarity with polysucrose and have very low toxicity. All these replacement products are non-irritating and are approved for human in vivo use. The results of sperm preparation using these new products compared with Percoll® regarding recovery rate, motility, viability, normal sperm morphology and velocity parameters like VAP or VCL vary considerably among different working groups. While Claassens et al.  and Söderlund and Lundin  did not find differences in the recovery rate between Percoll® and PureSperm®, Chen and Bongso , depending on the number of layers included for the density gradient, reported significantly higher values for PureSperm®. For IxaPrep® it is even more confusing because Yang et al.  found no difference to Percoll®, while Makkar et al.  found the replacement substance more effective. On the other hand, McCann and Chantler  as well as Ding et al.  found Percoll® superior. These authors attribute the better sperm quality obtained after the IxaPrep® preparation to a significantly decreased production of nitric oxide, which is regarded as sperm toxicant that reduces motility . This could be due to an activation of guanylyl cyclase, thus increasing cGMP production, which inhibits sperm motility . On the other hand, nitric oxide is also known to be a physiologic mediator for vasodilatation, immunosuppression, neurotransmission and cytotoxicity [69–72].
Regarding the other parameters such as motility, viability, normal sperm morphology or velocity parameters like VAP, the data currently available also vary considerably among different working groups. The reason for this can be attributed to the different conditions of the sperm separation, e.g. volume of semen to be separated, g-force, centrifugation time or the number of layers of the gradient, and reflect the important role of the methodology. Moreover, this also shows that these data cannot be directly compared. Overall, the Percoll®-replacement products are good and reasonable alternatives, and this not only for the fact that Percoll® is no longer allowed to be used for clinical purposes in assisted reproduction.
Glass wool filtration
During glass wool filtration, which has already been described by Paulson & Polakoski in 1977 , motile spermatozoa are separated from immotile sperm cells by means of densely packed glass wool fibres. The principle of this sperm separation technique lies in both the self-propelled movement of the spermatozoa and the filtration effect of the glass wool. The success of this method is directly linked to the kind of glass wool used . Thus, factors like the chemical nature of the glass (i.e. borate glass, silicate glass or quartz glass), the surface structure and charge of the glass wool, thickness of the glass wool fibres or the pore size of the filter have to be taken into consideration. In clinical practice, the glass wool, code number 112, from Manville Fiber Glass Corp. (Denver, CO, USA) or SpermFertil® columns from Mello (Holzhausen, Germany) have been tested extensively. Potential risks of the technique such as damages of the spermatozoa or the occurrence of glass wool fragments in the filtrate essentially depend on the kind of glass wool used and on the intensity of the washing prior to the filtration.
Advantages and disadvantages of the glass wool filtration.
- simple to perform
- a bit more expensive
- normally, recovery of spermatozoa with good motility
- the filtrate is not as clean as it is with other sperm separation methods
- spermatozoa from ejaculates with a very low sperm density can be separated
- remnants of debris are still present
- good yield
- leukocytes are eliminated to a large extent
- reactive oxygen species are significantly reduced
By means of glass wool filtration, it is even possible to prepare motile spermatozoa from patients with retrograde ejaculation (Henkel et al., unpublished). In these cases, the procedure includes adjustment of the osmolarity of the patient's urine to values of about 350 mOsmol/kg by drinking water. Prior to the ejaculation, the patients are requested to urinate most of the urine in the bladder. The small amount of antegrade-produced ejaculate is collected in a plastic beaker, while the retrograde fraction of the ejaculate needs to be urinated immediately into a jar with 50 ml culture medium containing human serum albumin to dilute the urine, Finally, the urine/medium mixture has to be centrifuged, resuspended in 3 to 4 ml of fresh medium and filtrated on the glass wool column. As constituents of the urine can damage the spermatozoa, a speedy work-up of such ejaculates is mandatory.
In addition to the separation of spermatozoa, glass wool filtration has been shown to eliminate leukocytes to an extent of up to 90% . Since leukocytes are frequent even in normal ejaculates  and produce 100-times more ROS than spermatozoa , this effect significantly contributes to a reduction of free radicals in the ejaculate [73, 75]. This is of paramount importance for the functionality of spermatozoa because the male germ cells are particularly susceptible to oxidation by ROS because of their extraordinary high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in their plasma membrane [33, 77, 78].
Another clinically interesting aspect related to glass wool filtration is chromatin condensation, which has repeatedly been shown to be predictive of fertilization in vitro [79–81]. Glass wool filtration  like the density gradient centrifugation with PureSperm®  or the migration-sedimentation technique  significantly selects normally chromatin-condensed spermatozoa, while conventional swim-up or Percoll®-centrifugation decrease this sperm parameter. As human sperm chromatin condensation follows a seasonal rhythm, which even shows a shift of about half a year on the southern hemisphere , this might have a clinical impact on the results in IVF. Should a patient be examined in winter when the quality of sperm chromatin condensation is high  and referred to IVF in summer when the percentage of normally chromatin-condensed spermatozoa is significantly lower, IVF for this patient might fail. Thus, for these patients a sperm separation by means of glass wool filtration, PureSperm® or migration-sedimentation might be beneficial.
This method has been used for the preparation of hamster spermatozoa for in vitro capacitation  and resulted in an efficient, high yield selection of motile human spermatozoa from semen . However, there were concerns regarding the possible spill over of beads into the insemination medium. As a result, the use of glass beads for effective sperm preparation for assisted reproduction has not widely been accepted.
In the early nineties sperm separation by means of Sephadex beads emerged  and a commercial sperm separation kit based on this principle (SpermPrep®) has become available. Compared to migration-sedimentation and swim-up from pelleted semen it produced significantly higher yields . Moreover, morphologically normal sperm cells could be enriched in the filtrate after SpermPrep® separation as well as significantly higher pregnancy rates for intrauterine insemination as compared with the conventional swim-up method . In a comparison between SpermPrep® method and Percoll® centrifugation, Percoll® separated spermatozoa showed a significantly higher percentage of normally chromatin-condensed and morphologically normal spermatozoa . However, the fertilization rates reported by these authors were similar. López et al.  used a prepacked PD-10 column containing Sephadex G-25 particles (Pharmacia Biotechnology, Uppsala, Sweden), which is normally used to desalt proteins in solutions, to separate human spermatozoa and compared the results with the SpermPrep® method and Percoll® centrifugation. The PD-10 column and density gradient centrifugation in Percoll® yielded a comparable number of spermatozoa and showed similar percentages of morphologically normal spermatozoa after sperm separation. On the contrary, the SpermPrep® method resulted in significantly lower values of sperm count and morphology.
Another alternative sperm separation technique that was also developed in the late eighties is migration/filtration of motile spermatozoa through a Nuclepore membrane filter. These filters are unusual because their pores are cylindrical and at right angles to the plane of the membrane . The spermatozoa, therefore, have straight channels to swim through the membrane. Unfortunately, these membranes had a very low ratio of the total cross-sectional area of the pores to the overall membrane area. Consequently, the yield is extremely low. Primarily, this method was used for testing the motility of sperm populations treated with various pharmacological agents, but not as a preparation method for assisted reproduction .
Another approach of separating viable human spermatozoa by means of membranes was undertaken by Agarwal et al.  using a membrane which has been developed for selective removal of leucocytes (L4 membrane). Besides a significant increase of motility, ejaculates filtered through this membrane have been shown to contain fewer leukocytes. This fact is, of course, of importance in those cases that have increased numbers of leucocytes in the ejaculate as a result of infections. Moreover, this membrane seems to be selective for spermatozoa with normal membrane integrity [92, 93] and sperm producing low amounts of reactive oxygen species . However, despite these advantages of the membrane it has never come into practical clinical use for human assisted reproduction.
Apart from the different sperm separation techniques to increase the number of functional spermatozoa for assisted reproductive techniques discussed above, trials have been made to improve fertilization rates by modifying the conditions of the co-culture of oocytes with spermatozoa. Micro-insemination techniques have especially been developed for patients with sperm counts or asthenozoospermia. One of the first who used such a method for assisted reproduction were Ranoux and Seibel . These authors used a microvolume straw to co-incubate spermatozoa with the oocytes and incubated this straw intravaginally, thus they called the technique intravaginal culture (IVC). Giorgetti et al.  proposed a swim-across technique in a medium that contains human follicular fluid and found a significantly improved fertilization rate for patients with motile sperm counts less than 1 × 106 spermatozoa/ml of semen. Fishel et al.  reported critically on the microdrop IVF and preferred microinjection. On the other hand, Svalander et al.  presented encouraging results with a fertilization rate of 49.3% and a baby-take-home rate of between 20–24.7%. Although this is lower than the baby-take-home rate reported for conventional IVF (27–31.7%), these authors recommended the technique for moderate male factor infertility.
This success of the technique may be dependent on the volume of the microdrop as well as on the sperm concentration. In this regard, Özgür et al.  developed a predictive model to calculate the therapeutically optimal sperm concentration for a defined microvolume. This might be explained by data of Özgür and Franken  who showed that sperm-zona binding is dependent on the sperm-zona collision rates, which is dependent on the size of the microdrops itself. However, as the results of the microdrop IVF were conflicting, and successes sporadic, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has become the method of choice in the treatment of severe male factor infertility.
Immunologic infertility due to sperm autoimmunity afflicts 5–10% of infertile couples . Normally, male germ cells, which express surface antigens that are not present on somatic and pre-meiotic cells, are shielded from immuno-competent cells in the body by the blood-testis barrier. This prevents an immunologic reaction. However, in the event of a disintegration of the blood-testis barrier by infections, injuries or due to surgical treatments, these actually "strange" surface antigens can be exposed to the immune system. As a result, the body produces antibodies against its own spermatozoa. On the other hand, women can also produce anti sperm-antibodies. One possible target for such antibodies is the human sperm protein rSMP-B . These antibodies can coagulate and immobilize the spermatozoa or can even be cytotoxic  and eventually lead to infertility as well as reduced fertilization rates in assisted reproduction . However, contradictory results that the presence of sperm autoantibodies in female sera used for media in IVF does not affect the IVF result are also reported .
In the past, it was thought that anti sperm-antibodies could be eliminated just by washing them off. However, as normal antigen-antibody reactions usually have affinity constants between 107 and 109 l/mol, a simple washing step will not suffice for removing these antibodies from the sperm surface. As in men with sperm autoantibodies not all spermatozoa are affected by the antibodies, Hinting et al.  could significantly reduce the anti sperm-antibodies as tested with the mixed antiglobulin reaction test (MAR test) by using a swim-up technique with fetal cord serum. The cumulative pregnancy rates of treatments for intrauterine insemination (IUI) in cases of immunological infertility are reported between less than 10%  and up to 25% . Today, the method of choice to treat severe cases of immunological infertility is IVF or even ICSI where pregnancy rate of 30–40% per cycle can be achieved.
An alternative and/or complementary approach to sperm preparation for ART in vitro by means of the above discussed sperm separation methods is the idea to treat the spermatozoa in vitro in order to improve their functionality, i.e. motility, or to supply a protective environment with the purpose to maintain or improve their functional capacity for successful fertilization. Many substances including serum, peritoneal fluid and follicular fluid or other chemically defined pharmacological substances like progesterone, adenosine analogues or methylxanthins have been proposed to stimulate human sperm functions. The methodologies addressing the different aspects, motility and sperm functions, ROS, and the reduction of the visco-elastic properties of the semen are discussed below.
Improvement of motility and sperm functions
Human spermatozoa can obtain energy from both glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation . Thus, motility parameters such as mode of progression, lateral head displacement or velocity of fresh and cryopreserved spermatozoa significantly increased after stimulation with caffeine due to augmented glycolysis and fructolysis [111–113]. A small study including 6 patients by Serres et al.  revealed that the stimulatory effect is most obvious in patients with asthenozoospermia. However, early reports documented not only a stimulating effect of caffeine, but also a time- and concentration-dependent detrimental effect on the sperm plasma membrane [115, 116]. Moreover, spermatozoa pre-incubated with caffeine showed a significant decrease in the percentage of penetrated zona-free hamster oocytes . The only study available  that investigated the effect of caffeine in assisted reproduction using 42 oocytes from 21 women showed an increase in sperm motility but a significant decrease in the fertilization rates and embryo development.
Direct incubation of mouse oocytes and embryos resulted in a time- and concentration-dependent artificial parthenogenic activation of the oocytes and a significant reduction of embryo cleavage rates . As these data were more disappointing than stimulating for the clinical use of caffeine in assisted reproduction, it was further only used for research purposes. A very recent prospective study by Klonoff-Cohen et al.  investigated the daily caffeine consumption of 221 patients and its effects on the outcome of IVF/GIFT treatments. According to these authors, failed pregnancies were significantly associated with the female's caffeine consumption. In addition, gestational age at delivery decreased significantly in women who consumed more than 50 mg/day. Male caffeine consumption appeared to be a significant risk factor for multiple gestations but had no effect on sperm count, motility or normal sperm morphology. An earlier study , however, demonstrated a positive association between coffee consumption and sperm concentration, motility and abnormal sperm morphology in a total of 546 men. In combination with smoking as further risk factor, sperm motility and viability decreased significantly. Klonoff-Cohen et al.  confirmed the embryotoxic effect of caffeine causing delayed conception  or spontaneous abortions  and concluded that the caffeine consumption should be minimized prior to and during an assisted reproduction treatment.
Pentoxifylline (Fig. 1C) is another methylxanthine derivative, which is also, like caffeine, a non-specific inhibitor of phosphodiesterase. In contrast to caffeine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pentoxifylline for the administration to humans. The drug is used for systemic treatments of patients with cardio-vascular diseases (Trental® or Torental®). In addition, since its water solubility is higher than that of caffeine, this increases its usability .
The beneficial effect of pentoxifylline on sperm motility and motion characteristics like sperm velocity or hyperactivity has repeatedly been described for both fresh [112, 125–129] and cryopreserved spermatozoa [128, 130–132]. The results on the stimulation of sperm motility are conflicting. Yovich et al. , Rees et al.  and Lewis et al.  found no effect in normozoospermic patients, while others [133–136] observed a significant increase in motility and the number of progressively motile spermatozoa in patients with asthenozoospermia. This stimulatory effect can clearly be attributed to the increased intracellular levels of cAMP. In the absence of the drug, the cAMP content remained unchanged and correlated only with hypermotility and the amplitude of the lateral head displacement of the spermatozoa . Cyclic AMP, in turn, is believed to stimulate a cAMP-dependent kinase , which itself induces sperm tail protein phosphorylation  with subsequent increase in sperm motility .
Apart from the effects on sperm motility, pentoxifylline is also reported to augment acrosome reaction . Nassar et al.  demonstrated that this induction is not due to a Ca2+-influx in the sperm cell, which is regarded to stimulate acrosome reaction . The intracellular [Ca2+]i even decreased following the pentoxifylline treatment. Since cAMP is intimately involved as a second-messenger in the induction of acrosome reaction , an unspecific inhibition of phosphodiesterases by this methylxanthine will increase the intracellular cAMP levels and therefore induce acrosome reaction. In addition, this drug also improves the spermatozoa's zona pellucida binding ability [139, 145, 146]. However, it appeared that this binding improvement to the zona pellucida is rather a result of the increase in the sperm velocity parameters straight-line velocity (VSL) and average path velocity (VAP) as these parameters are indicators of progressive motility. Therefore, these spermatozoa represent a sperm population that did not initiate acrosome reaction with its characteristic change in movement characteristics yet .
The benefits of a treatment with pentoxifylline prompted its use in assisted reproduction programs. However, the results reported in the literature are rather conflicting. While Tasdemir et al.  and Tarlatzis et al.  found an improvement in the IVF rate and saw a promising development in small studies comprising 51 and 43 patients, respectively. Others did not find differences between the control and the treatment group in IVF and intrauterine insemination [150–152]. Thus, it was concluded that pentoxifylline should not be used indiscriminately . On the other hand, pentoxifylline has been successfully used to increase fertilization rates in bovine in vitro fertilization  and as pre-treatment to stimulate epididymal and testicular sperm motility for ICSI [155, 156]. Should the results of Numabe et al.  be confirmed, this could be a promising approach to improve fertilization rates especially for endangered species.
The conflicting results on the effectiveness of a pentoxifylline treatment raised the question of the embryotoxicity of this substance, especially since possible pentoxifylline-induced adverse effects on spermatozoa  and mouse embryo development [158, 159] have been reported. In contrast, Lacham-Kaplan & Trounson  did not observe such negative effects on embryonic development after insemination of the oocytes with spermatozoa incubated in 3 mM pentoxifylline. Finally, short-term incubation of spermatozoa with subsequent washing of the male germ cells did not produce such adverse effects in intrauterine insemination or ICSI (Henkel et al., unpublished) . An alternative approach to increase sperm motility or the number of motile spermatozoa was to administer the drug orally over period of 3 to 6 months . In a placebo-controlled study including 47 normozoospermic men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia, Merino et al.  showed a significant increase in progressive motility in men who received 1,200 mg of pentoxifylline per day over 6 months. Clinical data about fertilization and pregnancy, however, are still not available.
Another important point that must not be underestimated in explaining the controversial effects of pentoxifylline is the fact that this drug is an unspecific inhibitor of the phosphodiesterase (PDE). Considering that eleven different families of this enzyme have been described , of which PDE-1 and PDE-4 are present in human spermatozoa and stimulate different sperm functions, i.e. acrosome reaction and motility, respectively , an unspecific inhibition of the PDE's will obviously result in both, stimulation of motility and acrosome reaction. Depending on the conditions and most importantly on the time of stimulation and the concentration of pentoxifylline in the medium, over-stimulation will definitely result in a too early acrosome reaction. Hence, over-stimulated spermatozoa for an IUI or IVF treatment will not fertilize oocytes because they are no longer able to bind to the zona pellucida. This dilemma might be overcome by the use of a non-embryotoxic PDE-4 inhibitor to stimulate sperm motility only. Unfortunately, to our knowledge, no further progress has been made in this regard. For ICSI, this problem is not relevant as spermatozoa bypass all physiological barriers because they are directly injected into the oocytes.
2-Deoxyadenosine (2-DA) (Fig. 1D) is an adenosine derivative that is not a phosphodiesterase inhibitor like pentoxifylline or caffeine. Like these substances, 2-DA is also a potent stimulant of sperm motility [165, 166]. The molecular mechanism of motility stimulation, however, works via an A2-receptor-mediated activation of adenylate cyclase , which in turn is thought to enhance the intracellular cAMP concentration [168, 169]. Because of this characteristic, the use of 2-DA in assisted reproduction programs has been discussed. Other studies, however, failed to detect a responsive cAMP activity and either stimulatory or inhibitory G-proteins in spermatozoa [170, 171]. In addition, Rivkees  could not detect A2a- and A2b-receptor gene expression in the rat testis. This would imply that these stimulatory receptors are either not present or, at least, at very low levels. On the other hand, the cAMP-inhibitory A1-receptor has a capacitative effect on human spermatozoa when stimulated with an agonist . While Imoedemhe et al.  in an internally controlled prospective study showed significantly higher fertilization rates after sperm stimulation with 2-DA and hence suggested further evaluation of the drug in assisted reproduction programs, Tournaye et al.  recommends a careful evaluation and selection of the patients before the treatment with motility stimulants.
Recently, 2-DA and pentoxifylline have been suggested for sperm stimulation in an in vitro culture of testicular tissue in order to obtain motile spermatozoa for ICSI . However, it seems rather questionable whether a treatment of spermatozoa with 2-DA for the purpose to fertilize oocytes should be recommended because there is also evidence that it has adverse effects on embryos. In this regard, 2-DA significantly reduced the cleavage of mouse embryos beyond the 2-cell stage . In addition, 2-DA and cAMP have been shown to exert cytotoxic effects by inducing G1 cell cycle arrest . In view of this, a therapeutic clinical use of stimulants that increase the intracellular cAMP levels should be evaluated very carefully. At least, a very careful washing of the spermatozoa is mandatory.
A substance, which has been discussed very controversially regarding its stimulatory effect on sperm motility and sperm functions during the past ten years, is kallikrein. Despite all components of the kallikrein-kinin system are present in the male and female genital tract [177, 178] and the localization of the bradykinin B2-receptor in rat testis [179, 180], the function of the kallikrein-kinin system for male reproductive function is still unclear. The prostate-specific human glandular kallikrein, which is about 500-times less effective than tissue kallikrein, is present in human seminal plasma . In addition, in vitro studies reported a positive effect of kallikrein and its cleavage products, the kinins, on sperm functions including motility [182, 183]. This suggests an involvement of this enzyme or bradykinin in the male reproductive system. Gerhard et al.  reported a significant improvement of sperm motility when using kallikrein in an artificial insemination program where 172 patients were randomly assigned to the treatment and control group. However, the penetration distance of sperm in cervical mucus was significantly lower and was regarded as cause for the lower pregnancy rates in this group of patients. In contrast, Schill et al.  found an increased cervical mucus penetrability of human spermatozoa following treatment of with hog pancreatic kallikrein and bradykinin.
The results regarding ART are as contradictory as the results on in vitro stimulation of spermatozoa. Schill and Littich  reported an increased pregnancy rate in intrauterine insemination following stimulation of spermatozoa with kallikrein in a cross-over blind study in 48 asthenozoospermic and oligoasthenozoospermic therapy-resistant patients in 468 inseminations. All patients included in that study were shown to respond to this treatment beforehand. On the other hand, there are in vitro studies [187, 188] and double-blind placebo-controlled studies [189, 190] that did not show any effect of kallikrein and bradykinin on sperm motility or sperm count. Miska et al.  showed that porcine pancreatic kallikrein, which is taken orally, is absorbed in unaltered form by the intestine. In the light of the recent data by Monsees et al. [178–180] obtained in the rat, the kallikrein-kinin system in the male reproductive tract seems to play a role in the regulation of Sertoli cell function, the local regulation of spermatogenesis or in the function of the seminiferous tubules.
Another interesting approach to improve sperm motility and thus sperm recovery from the ejaculate that has not yet been used for clinical application in assisted reproduction is the stimulation of the sperm cell's kinematics by bicarbonate . It is well known that bicarbonate is a major secretory component of the fallopian tube that stimulates sperm respiration , and is also postulated to be beneficial for fertilization . The latter appears to be supported by its effect on capacitation, induction of acrosome reaction [192, 195, 196] and hyperactivated motility, which in turn is required for successful zona penetration in the hamster . These physiological changes, especially acrosome reaction and hyperactivation, require the influx of Ca2+ into the spermatozoa. Acrosome reaction is absolutely dependent on the presence of extracellular calcium . Recent work by Wennemuth et al.  showed that bicarbonate also facilitates the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+-channels, which are eventually involved in the increase in flagellar beat frequency shortly after stimulation. Thus, bicarbonate is an important mediator of sperm cell function.
Therefore, media with enhanced levels of this anion might be helpful for sperm preparation and assisted reproduction. Henkel et al.  showed that sperm preparation by using a medium containing high levels of bicarbonate resulted in a significantly higher progressive motility as well as sperm recovery. In addition, the co-incubation of human spermatozoa with zonae in this medium resulted in a significantly increased zona binding of the spermatozoa. Jaiswal and Majumder  made similar observations in testicular and epididymal spermatozoa from goat and ram. While theophylline, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, and epididymal fluid only induced a non-progressive flagellar movement of these initially immotile sperm, the addition of bicarbonate induced forward motility in 16 to 40% of the sperm cells. This motion stimulating effect of bicarbonate, which otherwise only appears in a subpopulation of the spermatozoa , is mediated by an activation of adenylate cyclase [202, 203] with subsequent increased levels of cAMP, which in turn stimulate protein kinase A  and results in protein phosphorylation . H89, a highly specific inhibitor of protein kinase A, significantly inhibited bicarbonate induced sperm motility and indicates the importance of this enzyme for sperm motility .
Considering motility and acrosome reaction as important sperm functions and bicarbonate as mediator as well as the aspect that this anion is non-toxic as other motility stimulants, it appears tempting to use a high bicarbonate medium not only for diagnostic purposes , but also in a clinical approach to improve sperm motility and functions for assisted reproduction. However, as elevated pH levels can disturb the mitotic spindle, a treatment of oocytes with bicarbonate should be performed with high care.
In a very recent approach, Wroblewski et al.  investigated the influence of different metal chelators, i.e. DL-penicillamine, 2,3-dimercaptopropan-1-sulfonate and meso-2,3-dimercapto-succinimic acid, on human sperm motility in vitro. These authors showed that the percentage motility and velocity, even of swim-up separated spermatozoa, can be enhanced by incubation with these chelators, and speculate of a possible future use of such a procedure to improve fertilization rates in IUI or IVF.
The proposed mechanism of this motility enhancement is the removal of the element zinc from the outer dense fibres (ODF), which are functionally essential substructures in the mammalian sperm flagellum. During spermiogenesis, cysteine and zinc are incorporated in spermatozoa . In human spermatozoa, zinc is localized in the flagellum to an extent of 93–97% , especially in the ODF. When incorporated in the ODF, zinc is first associated with the sulfhydryl groups of cysteine by formation of relatively stable zinc-thiol complexes  in order to protect ODF from premature oxidation . This trace element is later removed from the sperm to an extent more than 60% during epididymal sperm maturation [207, 211]. Thereafter, the sulfhydryl groups are oxidized to disulphide-bridges that stabilize and stiffen the ODF , which in turn leads to a better energy conversion and therefore to better motility including forward progression [213, 214].
Latest research from our working group, however, showed that at least DL-penicillamine and 2,3-dimercaptopropan-1-sulfonate are not suitable for clinical use as both chelators alter the sperm's responsiveness to the induction of acrosome reaction (Henkel et al., unpublished). Thus, it remains to be seen whether or not other chelators will not show such adverse effects.
PLATELET-ACTIVATING FACTOR (PAF)
Platelet-activating factor (PAF, 1-O-alkyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine) is a biologically highly potent signalling ether phospholipid, which was first described by Benveniste et al. . Apart from its multiple functions on circulation, inflammation, systemic vasodilatation, pulmonary bronchiole constriction, platelet and neutrophile activation, cardiac ischemia, tissue rejection, gastric ulcer and development [216–218], it is reported to be a cellular mediator in reproduction. Here, PAF appears to be involved in implantation  and may reflect embryo health and viability [220, 221]. Moreover, PAF has been found in spermatozoa of different species like rabbit, mouse, pig, rhesus monkey and human [221–226].
Several authors reported positive effects on motility, capacitation, acrosome reaction and oocyte penetration [227–230]. PAF antagonists can inhibit its positive actions on sperm function . The sperm content of PAF in the species investigated is positively related with the fertility status of the male . Reinhardt et al.  provided evidence for a PAF receptor on human spermatozoa at the midpiece and proximal sperm head suggesting that the action of PAF is receptor-mediated, which does not result in increased levels of intracellular cAMP concentrations [234, 235]. However, PAF binds to the surface receptor and activates a phospholipase, which in turn converts diacylglycerol (DAG) to inositol triphosphate (IP3), and thus increases the intracellular [Ca2+]i concentration that can either be released from intracellular stores or by an extracellular Ca2+-influx via Ca2+-channels. This intracellular Ca2+-increase may thus be responsible for the induction of acrosome reaction . However, although the exact molecular mechanism of the action of PAF has not yet been elucidated in detail, these positive effects led the use of PAF in assisted reproduction. Recently, in a prospective, randomized, blinded study in 143 patients, Roudebush et al.  presented data showing that pregnancy rates in intrauterine insemination were significantly improved after separating the spermatozoa with a medium containing PAF. The advantage of such a treatment is that PAF is a natural substance that is non-toxic as it is with many other motility stimulators.
Selection of live spermatozoa from a completely immotile sperm population prior to ICSI
An important aspect of sperm selection and the improvement of sperm functions are reflected by the selection of spermatozoa for ICSI from extremely poor semen quality. In this regard, special emphasis should be laid on the selection of spermatozoa from a completely immotile sperm population. For the success in ICSI it is important to inject viable spermatozoa. Normally, this distinction is made by the sperm's most obvious function, motility; a motile spermatozoon is live. However, in this particular group of patients this distinguishing mark is void and scientists were urged to find non-harmful methods that identify live spermatozoa in a population of immotile sperm and that are suitable for the use in ICSI, i.e. that do not harm the oocyte. To date, two different approaches for the distinction between live and dead spermatozoa have been pursued; (i) the initiation of motility as sign of vitality by means of stimulants and (ii) the identification of live spermatozoa according to their membrane integrity by means of the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOS test).
The initiation of motility in an immotile sperm population is just a consequence of the idea to improve motility by means of the PDE inhibitor pentoxifylline as described above. As pentoxifylline stimulates motility without altering the sperm membrane  it appeared as an ideal substance to initiate motility in immotile spermatozoa. This method was successfully used to identify live testicular and epididymal spermatozoa and live births are reported [155, 156, 239].
The other option to identify spermatozoa suitable for ICSI is to detect their viability by means of their membrane integrity by the HOS test, which has originally been described by Jeyendran et al. . To our knowledge, this method was first proposed by Pike et al. . In a small study group of 7 patients these authors showed markedly improved fertilization rates when oocytes were injected with HOS test-positive sperm. Others who also demonstrated significantly higher pregnancy rates eventually confirmed these positive results [242–245]. Eventually, the basic technique has been modified and simplified. All of these modifications resulted in the same promising outcome, significantly elevated fertilization and pregnancy rates [246–249]. Buckett  suggested a combined HOS test with the eosin-nigrosin stain as a routine test in the andrological laboratory diagnosis to predict the spermatozoa's fertilizing ability in patients with severe and complete asthenozoospermia.
At this point, however, it is also important to mention the possible consequences of fertilization of oocytes with sperm by ICSI. As sperm motility is also significantly negatively correlated with the production of reactive oxygen species in the spermatozoa themselves and positively correlated with sperm DNA fragmentation , the probability to select such DNA-damaged spermatozoa for ICSI is far higher. According to present knowledge, sperm DNA fragmentation might not only cause an impaired embryonic development and early embryonic death [252–254], but also an increased risk of childhood cancer in the offspring [255, 256]. The latter is due to the vulnerability of human sperm DNA during late stages of spermatogenesis and epididymal maturation. At this stage, DNA repair mechanisms have been switched off, resulting in a genetic instability of the male germ cells , especially on the Y-chromosome resulting in male-specific cancers . Therefore, a careful examination and counselling of the patients seems mandatory, and fertilization with ICSI should not be performed at all cost.
Scavengers for reactive oxygen species (ROS)
In order to maintain cellular polarity and function, spermatozoa contain an extraordinary high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexanoic acid, which has six double bonds per molecule in the plasma membrane. This, in combination with the sperm cell's lack of defence systems, which is due to the obvious deficiency in cytoplasm, and therefore its inability to repair membrane damages effectively renders spermatozoa particularly susceptible to oxidative stress . As sperm functions are membrane functions, oxidative damage for any method of assisted reproduction should be reduced to a minimum in order to obtain a maximum of functionally competent male germ cells and to achieve fertilization and pregnancy. Apart from the different sperm separation methods (as discussed above), which also have a significant influence on the ROS production of the spermatozoa, another option to improve sperm functionality and motility is to reduce the detrimental effects of reactive oxygen species on spermatozoa in vitro or in vivo by means of scavenging these highly reactive molecules.
In vivo, spermatozoa depend on scavenging systems provided by the seminal plasma, which is the biological fluid that contains more antioxidant substances than anyone else does. The most important natural antioxidants in seminal plasma seem to be vitamin C and E [259, 260], superoxide dismutase , uric acid , glutathione  or the polyamine spermine that acts directly as a free radical scavenger . Patients with fertility problems show reduced levels of the antioxidative capacity of the seminal plasma [265–267]. Thus, in the context of oxidative damage of sperm function not only an excessive ROS production by either leukocytes  or the spermatozoa themselves [75, 269], but also the provision of a sufficient protective antioxidative system in the male genital tract, including the seminal plasma and the female genital tract is of paramount importance. In attempts to tackle the problem of oxidative stress, spermatozoa are either treated with different antioxidants in vitro or the patients are treated with antioxidative drugs.
GLUTATHIONE / N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE
As sulfhydryl groups (SH-groups) play an important role in sperm metabolism and the antioxidative defence, and glutathione (γ-glutamyl-cystenyl-glycine) is a natural, highly effective reducing agent, this substance has been tried as a tool to treat male infertility. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study, in which 20 patients were daily injected with 600 mg glutathione, Lenzi et al.  showed a significant increase in sperm motility, percentage of progressive motility and normal sperm morphology. For in vitro treatment of spermatozoa with glutathione during sperm separation, contradictory results have been published. Following swim-up preparation of human spermatozoa in the presence of glutathione Griveau & Le Lannou  found an improved acrosome reaction and 24 hours-motility on the same level as for Percoll® gradient centrifugation and suggest that glutathione has a therapeutic potential. In contrast, Donnelly et al.  provided data indicating that this drug has no significant effect on progressive motility, neither by itself, nor in combination with hypotaurine. However, the treatment still afforded a significant protection against ROS-induced DNA damage. Unfortunately, so far only very few studies were undertaken in order to treat male infertility using glutathione in vitro or as a treatment for patients. In the human system, a medium based on human tubular fluid supplemented with glucose, taurine and glutathione failed to improve the clinical outcome, fertilization or pregnancy. The morphological quality of the embryos was even lower than in the same medium supplemented with glucose and without phosphate . In the porcine and bovine system a positive effect on in vitro maturation of oocytes and blastocyst development, if the spermatozoa were treated with glutathione [274–276] was shown.
Another approach to treat oxidative stress-related male infertility was performed by Oeda et al. . These authors used N-acetyl-L-cysteine (ACC), a water-soluble and non-toxic drug that is used in pulmonary diseases because of its strong effect in decreasing the viscosity of sputum by sulfhydryl-disulfide interchange reaction . In addition, it was shown that the levels of glutathione in the epithelial lining fluid recovered to normal values after administration of ACC in patients with idiopathic fibrosis of the lung, suggesting that ACC may act as a precursor of glutathione and thus facilitate its biogenesis [279, 280]. In the human ejaculate, ACC revealed a dose- and time-dependent significant reduction of the ROS production . In addition, the substance significantly improved motility and did not have adverse effects on viability and acrosome reaction. On the other hand, Hughes et al.  demonstrated that the addition of ACC to a sperm separation medium induced sperm DNA damage. In a clinical study, Comhaire et al.  treated 27 infertile men orally with ACC and showed a significant reduction of ROS. Moreover, significant increases were found for acrosome reaction, the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the phospholipids and for the sperm count in oligozoospermic men. However, sperm motility, morphology and the pregnancy rate seemed to be unaltered. Whether or not this is due to the elevated acrosome reaction or the small number of patients included or to a reduced DNA integrity cannot be determined yet. This is a rational approach to treat male factor infertility, which should be followed up in a bigger study.
Apart from glutathione, vitamins C (ascorbate) and E are natural antioxidants in cells and tissues where ascorbate scavenges highly reactive molecules in the watery phase, i.e. cytoplasm and surrounding liquids, and vitamin E is effective in the lipid phase, i.e. the membranes. In order to improve sperm functions in vitro, culture media were supplemented with ascorbate and vitamin E. While Verma & Kanwar  observed a dose-dependent improvement of motility and viability accompanied by a decrease in malondialdehyde production following vitamin E supplementation, Donnelly et al.  did not show a beneficial effect of neither ascorbate nor vitamin E on sperm motility. Different motility parameters like curvilinear velocity or linearity were even significantly decreased after the treatment. ROS production was significantly reduced whereas the baseline in DNA damage remained unaltered . The simultaneous addition of vitamin C and E to the sperm preparation medium actually induced sperm DNA damage. These negative results of in vitro supplementation with vitamins on human sperm function appear plausible, as the lower levels of ascorbate in the seminal plasma in asthenozoospermic patients  can be regarded as a consumption of this antioxidant in vivo. Thus, the oxidative damage of the spermatozoa leading to reduced motility is most probably already set in the testis or epididymis and cannot be repaired by such treatment in vitro.
This consideration is supported by in vivo studies in rabbits, boars and in the human, where vitamin E supplementation resulted in improved sperm functions and a reduced production of free radicals [282, 286–288]. However, there are also negative reports on the effect of vitamin supplementation. In the human, Rolf et al.  did not find changes in semen parameters of 31 asthenozoospermic and moderate oligoasthenozoospermic patients treated with high doses of vitamin C and E in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Likewise, no positive effects on semen volume, pH or sperm motility were observed following a dietary vitamin E administration in the cock . The reproductive performance of the treated cocks was even negatively influenced. These contradictory results show that neither the exact mechanism and site of action, nor the indication for a successful antioxidative treatment of patients are clear. In addition, the action of genital tract inflammations has not yet been taken into consideration. As leukocytes produce enormous amounts of free radicals  and their specific impact on sperm function remains to be clarified, more research must be carried out in order to obtain a rational antioxidative therapy for male factor patients.
Besides the effects of pentoxifylline on sperm motility and acrosome reaction discussed above, this PDE inhibitor has also effects on ROS. It has repeatedly been shown that pentoxifylline significantly reduces the superoxide release of human spermatozoa following phorbol myristate acetate stimulation [291, 292]. This effect is possibly due to the reduction of the formation of endoperoxides as a consequence of the elevated cAMP levels that inhibit the cyclo-oxygenase within the arachidonic pathway . Contradictory results, however, were obtained regarding lipid peroxidation. While Gavella & Lipovac  found elevated levels of malondialdehyde after pentoxifylline treatment and rather warned of its use in assisted reproduction, McKinney et al.  could not confirm these findings. In a comparative study, Okada et al.  confirmed the ROS scavenging and motility stimulating effect of pentoxifylline in vitro in 15 patients and 18 controls, respectively. However, in vivo pentoxifylline at low dosages (300 mg per day) failed to decrease ROS generation and to increase motility. On the other hand, at high dosages (1,200 mg per day), motility and beat cross frequency were increased but the drug still did not have a beneficial effect on sperm fertilizing ability.
Reduction of visco-elasticity of the ejaculate
In most mammals, semen coagulates shortly after ejaculation and liquefies again later on. In the human, liquefaction takes place within 5–20 minutes after ejaculation. While so-called coagulation proteins like semenogelin or fibronektin, which derive from the seminal vesicle, promote coagulation, seminolysis is caused by a prostate-derived serine-proteinase, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) . However, in some cases viscosity of the semen remains high and can be a cause for male infertility. It is also important to differentiate between ejaculates that have an excessive viscosity and such ejaculates that failed to liquefy . As highly viscous semen can reduce sperm motility thus being a cause for male infertility, it is necessary in the clinical set-up of assisted reproduction either to reduce semen viscosity or to liquefy the ejaculate artificially. For this, a few methods are available. Mixing the semen with medium is the easiest way but will not work sufficiently in cases of excessive semen viscosity. Another method that was suggested in the past is to force the viscous seminal fluid through a narrow-gauge needle. However, considering the severe damage that this method causes to the spermatozoa including immotility, it cannot be recommended at all. It is therefore rather advisable to liquefy such ejaculates enzymatically by using a 0.2% solution of α-amylase. Several other enzymes like α-chymotrypsin, lysozyme or hyaluronidase have also been described for this purpose. Recently, a special trypsin-based dissolving solution, SpermSolute, has been reported . However, as these enzymes can also damage spermatozoa, special care should be taken to remove the enzymes by washing procedures as soon as liquefaction is completed.
Advantages and disadvantages of density gradient centrifugation.
- usually clean fraction of highly motile spermatozoa
- production of good interphases between the different media is a bit more time-consuming
- spermatozoa from ejaculates with a very low sperm density can be separated
- a bit more expensive
- good yield
- potential risk of endotoxins
- leukocytes are eliminated to a large extent
- Percoll® may no longer be used IVF/ICSI
- reactive oxygen species are significantly reduced
The authors gratefully acknowledge the expert linguistic review of Mrs. S. Henkel.
- Edwards RG, Bavister BD, Steptoe PC: Early stages of fertilization in vitro of human oocytes matured in vitro. Nature. 1969, 221: 632-635.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Edwards RG, Steptoe PC, Purdy JM: Establishing full term human pregnancies using cleaving embryos grown in vitro. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1980, 87: 737-756.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lopata A, Brown JB, Leeton JF, Talbot JM, Wood C: In vitro fertilization of preovulatory oocytes and embryo transfer in infertile patients treated with clomiphene and human chorionic gonadotropin. Fertil Steril. 1978, 30: 27-35.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mahadevan M, Baker G: Assessment and preparation of semen for in vitro fertilization. In: Clinical In Vitro Fertilization. Edited by: Wood C, Trounson A. 1984, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 83-97.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mortimer D: Sperm Transport in the Human Female Reproductive Tract. In: Oxford Reviews of Reproductive Biology. Edited by: Finn CA. 1989, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 5: 30-Google Scholar
- Bedford JM: Significance of the need for sperm capacitation before fertilization in eutherian mammals. Biol Reprod. 1983, 28: 108-120.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yanagimachi R: Mammalian fertilization. In: The Physiology of Reproduction. Edited by: Knobil E, Neill JD, Ewing LL, Markert CL, Greenwald GS, Pfaff DW. 1988, Raven Press, New York, 1: 135-185.Google Scholar
- Tea NT, Jondet M, Scholler R: A migration-gravity sedimentation method for collecting motile spermatozoa from human semen. In: In Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Transfer and Early Pregnancy. Edited by: Harrison RF, Bonnar J, Thompson W. 1984, MTP Press ltd., Lancaster, 117-120.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Zavos PM, Abou-Abdallah M, Aslanis P, Correa JR, Zarmakoupis-Zavos PN: Use of the multi-ZSC one-step standardized swim-up method: recovery of high-quality spermatozoa for intrauterine insemination or other forms of assisted reproductive technologies. Fertil Steril. 2000, 74: 834-835. 10.1016/S0015-0282(00)01488-6.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bongso A, Ng SC, Mok H, Lim MN, Teo HL, Wong PC, Ratnam S: Improved sperm concentration, motility, and fertilization rates following Ficoll treatment of sperm in a human in vitro fertilization program. Fertil Steril. 1989, 51: 850-854.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gellert-Mortimer ST, Clarke GN, Baker HWG, Hyne RV, Johnston WIH: Evaluation of Nycodenz and Percoll density gradients for the selection of motile human spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 1988, 49: 335-341.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hyne RV, Stojanoff A, Clarke GN, Lopata A, Johnston WIH: Pregnancy from in vitro fertilization of human eggs after separation of motile spermatozoa by density gradient centrifugation. Fertil Steril. 1986, 45: 93-96.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ord T, Patrizio P, Marello E, Balmaceda JP, Asch RH: Mini-Percoll: A new method of semen preparation for IVF in severe male factor infertility. Hum Reprod. 1990, 5: 987-989.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Makkar G, Ng HY, Yeung SB, Ho PC: Comparison of two colloidal silica-based sperm separation media with a non-silica-based medium. Fertil Steril. 1999, 72: 796-802. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00375-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sills ES, Wittkowski KM, Tucker MJ, Perloe M, Kaplan CR, Palermo GD: Comparison of centrifugation- and noncentrifugation-based techniques for recovery of motile human sperm in assisted reproduction. Arch Androl. 2002, 48: 141-145. 10.1080/014850102317267454.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Paulson JD, Polakoski KL: A glass wool column procedure for removing extraneous material from the human ejaculate. Fertil Steril. 1977, 28: 178-181.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Van der Ven HH, Jeyendran RS, Al-Hasani S, Tunnerhoff A, Hoebbel K, Diedrich K, Krebs D, Perez-Pelaez M: Glass wool column filtration of human semen: relation to swim-up procedure and outcome of IVF. Hum Reprod. 1988, 3: 85-88.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Drobnis EZ, Zhong CQ, Overstreet JW: Separation of cryopreserved human semen using Sephadex columns, washing or Percoll gradients. J Androl. 1991, 12: 201-208.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Agarwal A, Manglona A, Loughlin KR: Filtration of spermatozoa through L4 membrane: a new method. Fertil Steril. 1991, 56: 1162-1165.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Clarkson JS: Significance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidants in defining the efficacy of sperm preparation techniques. J Androl. 1988, 9: 367-376.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Baccetti B, Benedetto A, Burrini AG, Collodel G, Ceccarini EC, Crisa N, Di Caro A, Estenoz M, Garbuglia AR, Massacesi A, Piomboni P, Renieri T, Solazzo D: HIV-particles in spermatozoa of patients with AIDS and their transfer into the oocyte. J Cell Biol. 1994, 127: 903-914.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Baccetti B, Collodel G, Piomboni P: The debate on the presence of HIV 1 virus in human spermatozoa. J Reprod Immunol. 1998, 41: 41-67. 10.1016/S0165-0378(98)00048-5.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pasquier C, Daudin M, Righi L, Berges L, Thauvin L, Berrebi A, Massip P, Puel J, Bujan L, Izopet J: Sperm washing and virus nucleic acid detection to reduce HIV and hepatitis C virus transmission in serodiscordant couples wishing to have children. AIDS. 2000, 14: 2093-2099. 10.1097/00002030-200009290-00004.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Marina S, Marina F, Alcolea R, Nadal J, Expósito R, Huguet J: Pregnancy following intracytoplasmic sperm injection from an HIV-1-seropositive man. Hum Reprod. 1998, 13: 3247-3239. 10.1093/humrep/13.11.3247.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sauer MV, Chang PL: Establishing a clinical program for human immunodeficiency virus 1-seropositive men to father seronegative children by means of in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002, 186: 627-633. 10.1067/mob.2002.122125.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Peña JE, Klein J, Thornton M, Chang PL, Sauer MV: Successive pregnancies with delivery of two healthy infants in a couple who was discordant for human immunodeficiency virus infection. Fertil Steril. 2002, 78: 421-423. 10.1016/S0015-0282(02)03213-2.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Leruez-Ville M, de Almeida M, Tachet A, Dulioust E, Guibert J, Mandelbrot L, Salmon D, Jouannet P, Rouzioux C: Assisted reproduction in HIV-1 serodifferent couples: the need for viral validation of processed semen. Aids. 2002, 16: 2267-2273. 10.1097/00002030-200211220-00006.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Trounson AO, Leeton JF, Wood C, Webb J, Kovacs G: The investigation of idiopathic infertility by in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 1980, 34: 431-438.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mahadevan MM, Trounson AO, Leeton JF: The relationship of tubal blockage, infertility of unknown cause, suspected male infertility, and endometriosis to success of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Fertil Steril. 1983, 40: 755-762.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yates CA, De-Kretser DM: Male-factor infertility and in vitro fertilization. J In Vitro Fert Embryo Transf. 1987, 4: 141-147.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Franken DR, Lombard CJ, Schill WB: The selective capacity of glass wool filtration for normal chromatin condensed human spermatozoa: A possible therapeutic modality for male factor cases?. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1994, 11: 395-400.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ford WCL: The role of oxygen free radicals in the pathology of human spermatozoa: Implications of IVF. In: Clinical IVF Forum; Current Views in Assisted Reproduction. Edited by: Matson PL, Lieberman BA. 1990, Manchester University Press, UK, 123-139.Google Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Clarkson JS: Cellular basis of defective sperm function and its association with the genesis of reactive oxygen species by human spermatozoa. J Reprod Fertil. 1987, 81: 459-469.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mortimer D: Sperm preparation techniques and iatrogenic failures of in-vitro fertilization. Hum Reprod. 1991, 6: 173-176.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mortimer D: Semen analysis and sperm washing techniques. In: Control of Sperm Motility: Biological Clinical Aspects. Edited by: Gagnon C. 1990, CRC Press, Boca Raton, F1, 263-284.Google Scholar
- Al-Hasani S, Küpker W, Baschat AA, Sturm R, Bauer O, Diedrich C, Diedrich K: Mini-swim-up: a new technique of sperm preparation for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1995, 12: 428-433.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Huszar G, Willetts M, Corrales M: Hyaluronic acid (Sperm Select) improves retention of sperm motility and velocity in normozoospermic and oligozoospermic specimens. Fertil Steril. 1990, 54: 1127-1134.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wikland M, Wik O, Steen Y, Qvist K, Söderlund B, Janson PO: A self-migration method for preparation of sperm for in vitro fertilization,. Hum Reprod. 1987, 2: 191-195.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Slotte H, Akerlof E, Pousette A: Separation of human spermatozoa with hyaluronic acid induces, and Percoll inhibits, the acrosome reaction. Int J Androl. 1993, 16: 349-354.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Meizel S: Molecules that initiate or help stimulate acrosome reaction by their interaction with mammalian sperm surface. Am J Anat. 1985, 174: 285-302.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mortimer D, Mortimer ST, Shu MA, Swart R: A simplified approach to sperm-cervical mucus interaction testing using a hyaluronate migration test. Hum Reprod. 1990, 5: 835-841.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Neuwinger J, Cooper TG, Knuth UA, Nieschlag E: Hyaluronic acid as a medium for human sperm migration tests. Hum Reprod. 1991, 6: 396-400.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Bowie H, Buckingham D, Harkiss D, Richardson DW, West KM: Sperm penetration into a hyaluronic acid polymer as a means of monitoring functional competence. J Androl. 1992, 13: 44-54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sánchez R, Stalf T, Khanaga O, Turley H, Gips H, Schill WB: Sperm selection methods for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in andrological patients. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1996, 13: 110-115.Google Scholar
- Hinting A, Lunardhi H: Better sperm selection for intracytoplasmic sperm injection with the side migration technique. Andrologia. 2001, 33: 343-346. 10.1046/j.1439-0272.2001.00451.x.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bolton VN, Braude PR: Preparation of human spermatozoa for in vitro fertilization by isopycnic centrifugation on self-generating density gradients. Arch Androl. 1984, 13: 167-176.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pousette A, Akerlöf E, Rosenborg L, Fredricsson B: Increase in progressive motility and improved morphology of human spermatozoa following their migration through Percoll gradients. Int J Androl. 1986, 9: 1-13.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Harrison RAP: A highly efficient method for washing mammalian spermatozoa. J Reprod Fertil. 1976, 48: 347-353.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mortimer D, Curtis EF, Dravland JE: The use of strontium-substituted media for capacitating human spermatozoa: an improved sperm preparation method for the zona-free hamster penetration test. Fertil Steril. 1986, 46: 97-103.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Egbase PE, al-Sharhan M, Ing R, Grudzinskas JG: Pregnancy rates after intracytoplasmic sperm injection in relation to sperm recovery techniques. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1997, 14: 317-320.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pharmacia Biotech: Important notice: Percoll® NOT to be used in Assisted Reproduction Technologies in Humans. Pharmacia Biotech Inc, December 12, 1996Google Scholar
- Andersen CY, Grinsted J: A new method for the purification of human motile spermatozoa applying density-gradient centrifugation: polysucrose media compared to Percoll media. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1997, 14: 624-628. 10.1023/A:1022545121367.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- De Vos A, Nagy ZP, Van de Velde H, Joris H, Bocken G, Van Steirteghem A: Percoll gradient centrifugation can be omitted in sperm preparation for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Hum Reprod. 1997, 12: 1980-1984. 10.1093/humrep/12.9.1980.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Scott L, Smith S: Mouse in vitro fertilization, embryo development and viability, and human sperm motility in substances used for human sperm preparation for assisted reproduction. Fertil Steril. 1997, 67: 372-381. 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)81925-5.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Arcidiacono A, Walt H, Campana A, Balerna M: The use of Percoll gradients for the preparation of subpopulations of human spermatozoa. Int J Androl. 1983, 6: 433-445.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Strehler E, Baccetti B, Sterzik K, Capitani S, Collodel G, De Santo M, Gambera L, Piomboni P: Detrimental effects of polyvinylpyrrolidone on the ultrastructure of spermatozoa (Notulae seminologicae 13). Hum Reprod. 1998, 13: 120-123. 10.1093/humrep/13.1.120.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pickering SJ, Fleming TP, Braude PR, Bolton VN, Gresham GAG: Are human spermatozoa separated on a Percoll density gradient safe for therapeutic use?. Fertil Steril. 1989, 51: 1024-1029.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tanphaichitr N, Millette CF, Agulnick A, Fitzgerald LM: Egg-penetration ability and structural properties of human sperm prepared by Percoll-gradient centrifugation. Gamete Res. 1988, 20: 67-81.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mortimer D: Sperm recovery techniques to maximize fertilizing capacity. Reprod Fertil Dev. 1994, 6: 25-31.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Serafini P, Blank W, Tran C, Mansourian M, Tan T, Batzofin J: Enhanced penetration of zona-free hamster ova by sperm prepared by Nycodenz and Percoll gradient centrifugation. Fertil Steril. 1990, 53: 551-555.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Claassens OE, Menkveld R, Harrison KL: Evaluation of three substitutes for Percoll in sperm isolation by density gradient centrifugation. Hum Reprod. 1998, 13: 3139-3143. 10.1093/humrep/13.11.3139.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Söderlund B, Lundin K: The use of silane-coated silica particles for density gradient centrifugation in in-vitro fertilization. Hum Reprod. 2000, 15: 857-860. 10.1093/humrep/15.4.857.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Chen MJ, Bongso A: Comparative evaluation of two density gradient preparations for sperm separation for medically assisted conception. Hum Reprod. 1999, 14: 759-764. 10.1093/humrep/14.3.759.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yang JH, Wu MY, Chen CD, Chao KH, Chen SU, Ho HN, Yang YS: Spermatozoa recovered by IxaPrep gradient have improved longevity and better motion characteristics than those by Percoll gradient. Arch Androl. 1998, 40: 237-245.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- McCann CT, Chantler E: Properties of sperm separated using Percoll and IxaPrep density gradients. A comparison made using CASA, longevity, morphology and the acrosome reaction. Int J Androl. 2000, 23: 205-209. 10.1046/j.1365-2605.2000.00228.x.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ding DC, Huang YC, Liu JY, Wu GJ: Comparison of nitric oxide production and motion characteristics after 3-layer percoll and IxaPrep preparation methods of human sperm. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2002, 266: 210-213. 10.1007/s004040100230.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Rosselli M, Dubey RK, Imthurn B, Macas E, Keller PJ: Effects of nitric oxide on human spermatozoa: evidence that nitric oxide decreases sperm motility and induces toxicity. Hum Reprod. 1995, 10: 1786-1790.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Chan YM, Chan SY, Tucker MJ, Wong CJ, Leung CK, Leong MK: Effects of dibutyryl cyclic guanosine monophosphate on human spermatozoa motility and penetration of zona-free hamster oocyte. Hum Reprod. 1990, 5: 304-308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nathan C: Nitric oxide as a secretory product of mammalian cells. FASEB J. 1992, 6: 3051-3064.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Moncada S, Higgs A: The L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway. N Engl J Med. 1993, 329: 2002-2012. 10.1056/NEJM199312303292706.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Anggard E: Nitric oxide: Mediator, murderer, and medicine. Lancet. 1994, 343: 1199-1206. 10.1016/S0140-6736(94)92405-8.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Schmidt HH, Walter U: NO at work. Cell. 1994, 78: 919-925.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sánchez R, Concha M, Ichikawa T, Henkel R, Schill WB: Glass wool filtration reduces reactive oxygen species by elimination of leukocytes in oligozoospermic patients with leukocytospermia. J Assisted Reprod Genet. 1996, 13: 489-494.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Berger T, Marrs RP, Moyer DL: Comparison of techniques for selection of motile spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 1985, 43: 268-273.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Ichikawa T, Sánchez R, Miska W, Ohmori H, Schill WB: Differentiation of ejaculates in which reactive oxygen species are generated by spermatozoa or leukocytes. Andrologia. 1997, 29: 295-301.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wolff H: The biologic significance of white blood cells in semen. Fertil Steril. 1995, 63: 1143-1157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Clarkson JS, Fishel S: Generation of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, and human sperm function. Biol Reprod. 1989, 40: 183-197.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Iwasaki A, Gagnon C: Formation of reactive oxygen species in spermatozoa of infertile patients. Fertil Steril. 1992, 57: 409-416.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Terquem A, Dadoune JP: Aniline blue staining of human spermatozoon chromatin. Evaluation of nuclear maturation. In: The Sperm Cell. Edited by: André F. 1983, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 249-252.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Auger J, Mesbah M, Huber C, Dadoune JP: Aniline blue staining as a marker of sperm chromatin defects associated with different semen characteristics between proven fertile and suspected infertile men. Int J Androl. 1990, 13: 452-462.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hammadeh ME, Stieber M, Haidl G, Schmidt W: Association between sperm cell chromatin condensation, morphology based on strict criteria, and fertilization, cleavage and pregnancy rates in an IVF program. Andrologia. 1998, 30: 29-35.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hammadeh ME, Kühnen A, Amer AS, Rosenbaum P, Schmidt W: Comparison of sperm preparation methods: effect on chromatin and morphology recovery rates and their consequences on the clinical outcome after in vitro fertilization embryo transfer. Int J Androl. 2001, 24: 360-368. 10.1046/j.1365-2605.2001.0317a.x.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Menkveld R, Kleinhappl M, Schill WB: Seasonal changes of human sperm chromatin condensation. J Assisted Reprod Genet. 2001, 18: 371-377. 10.1023/A:1016618405570.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lui CW, Mrsny RJ, Meizel S: Procedures for obtaining high percentages of viable in vitro capacitated hamster sperm. Gamete Res. 1979, 2: 207-View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Daya S, Gwatkin RBL, Bissessar H: Separation of motile human spermatozoa by means of a glass bead column. Gamete Res. 1987, 17: 375-380.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Gabriel LK, Vawda AI: Preparation of human sperm for assisted conception: a comparative study. Arch Androl. 1993, 30: 1-6.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Zavos PM, Centola GM: Methods of semen preparation for intrauterine insemination and subsequent pregnancy rates. Tohoku J Exp Med. 1992, 168: 583-590.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hammadeh ME, Zavos PM, Rosenbaum P, Schmidt W: Comparison between the quality and function of sperm after semen processing with two different methods. Asian J Androl. 2001, 3: 125-130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- López O, Mata A, Antich M, Bassas L: Sperm selection by PD-10 sephadex columns: comparison with SpermPrep filtration and Percoll centrifugation. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 732-736.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Chijioke PC, Crocker PR, Gilliam M, Owens MD, Pearson RM: Importance of filter structure for the trans-membrane migration studies of sperm motility. Hum Reprod. 1988, 3: 241-244.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Raoof NT, Pearson RM, Turner P: A modified trans-membrane migration method for measuring the effect of drugs on sperm motility. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1987, 24: 319-321.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Agarwal A, Manglona A, Loughlin KR: Improvement in semen quality and sperm fertilizing ability after filtration through the L4 membrane: comparison of results with swim up technique. J Urol. 1992, 147: 1539-1541.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ikemoto I, Agarwal A, Fanning L, Loughlin KR: Improvement in membrane integrity and acrosin levels of human sperm by use of L4 membrane. Arch Androl. 1994, 32: 89-93.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Agarwal A, Ikemoto I, Loughlin KR: Levels of reactive oxygen species before and after sperm preparation: comparison of swim-up and L4 filtration. Arch Androl. 1994, 32: 169-174.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ranoux C, Seibel MM: New techniques in fertilization: Intravaginal culture and microvolume straw. J in Vitro Fertil Embryo Transfer. 1990, 7: 6-8.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Giorgetti C, Hans E, Spach JL, Auquier P, Roulier R: In-vitro fertilization in cases with severe sperm defect: use of a swim-across technique and medium supplemented with follicular fluid. Hum Reprod. 1992, 7: 1121-1125.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fishel S, Timson J, Lisi F, Jacobson M, Rinaldi L, Gobetz L: Micro-assisted fertilization in patients who have failed subzonal insemination. Hum Reprod. 1994, 9: 501-505.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Svalander P, Wikland M, Jakobsson AH, Forsberg AS: Subzonal insemination (SUZI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) in microdroplets for the treatment of male-factor infertility. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1994, 11: 149-155.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Özgür K, Franken DR, Kaskar K, Lombard CJ, Kruger TF: Development of a predictive model for optimal zona pellucida binding using insemination volume and sperm concentration. Fertil Steril. 1994, 62: 845-849.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Özgür K, Franken DR: The influence of sperm/zona pellucida collision rates on zona binding. Andrologia. 1996, 28: 261-265.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Clarke GW, Elliot PJ, Smaila C: Detection of sperm antibodies in semen using the immuno-bead test: a survey of 813 consecutive patients. Am J Reprod Immunol Microbiol. 1985, 7: 118-123.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kamada M, Yamamoto S, Takikawa M, Kunimi K, Maegawa M, Futaki S, Ohmoto Y, Aono T, Koide SS: Identification of the human sperm protein that interacts with sperm-immobilizing antibodies in the sera of infertile women. Fertil Steril. 1999, 72: 691-695. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00314-3.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mathur S, Mathur RS, Holtz GL, Tsai CC, Rust PF, Williamson HO: Cytotoxic sperm antibodies and in vitro fertilization of mature oocytes: a preliminary report. J in vitro Fert Embryo Transf. 1987, 4: 177-180.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Clarke GN, Hyne RV, du Plessis Y, Johnson WI: Sperm antibodies and human in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 1988, 49: 1018-1025.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Pagidas K, Hemmings R, Falcone T, Miron P: The effect of antisperm autoantibodies in male or female partners undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer. Fertil Steril. 1994, 62: 363-369.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hinting A, Vermeulen L, Goethals I, Dhont M, Comhaire F: Effect of different procedures of semen preparation on antibody-coated spermatozoa and immunological infertility. Fertil Steril. 1989, 52: 1022-1026.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Jequier AM: Male Infertility. A Guide for the Clinician. 2000, Blackwell Science Pty Ltd., Carlton, AustraliaView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kremer J, Jager S: The significance of antisperm antibodies for sperm-cervical mucus interaction. Hum Reprod. 1992, 7: 781-784.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Garbers DL, Lust WD, First NL, Lardy HA: Effect of phosphodiesterase inhibitors and cyclic nucleotides on sperm respiration and motility. Biochemistry. 1971, 10: 1825-1831.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ford WCL, Rees JM: The bioenergetics of sperm motility. In: Controls of Sperm Motility. Edited by: Gagnon C. 1990, CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
- Homonnai ZT, Gedalia P, Sofer A, Kraicer PF, Harell A: Effect of caffeine on the motility, viability, oxygen consumption and glycolytic rate of ejaculated human normokinetic and hypokinetic spermatozoa. Int J Fertil. 1976, 21: 163-170.Google Scholar
- Rees JM, Ford WCL, Hull MGR: Effect of caffeine and of pentoxifylline on the motility and metabolism of human spermatozoa. J Reprod Fert. 1990, 90: 147-156.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mbizvo MT, Johnson RC, Baker GHW: The effect of the motility stimulants, caffeine, pentoxifylline, and 2-deoxyadenosine on hyperactivation of cryopreserved human sperm. Fertil Steril. 1993, 59: 1112-1117.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Serres C, Feneux D, David G: Microcinematographic analysis of the motility of human spermatozoa incubated with caffeine. Andrologia. 1982, 14: 454-460.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Harrison RF, Sheppard BL, Kaliszer M: Observations on the motility, ultrastructure and elemental composition of human spermatozoa incubated with caffeine. Andrologia. 1979, 12: 34-42.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Harrison RF, Sheppard BL, Kaliszer M: Observations on the motility, ultrastructure and elemental composition of human spermatozoa incubated with caffeine. II. A time sequence study. Andrologia. 1980, 12: 434-443.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hammit DG, Bedia E, Rogers PR, Syrop CH, Donnovan JF, Williamson RA: Comparison of motility stimulants for cryopreserved human semen. Fertil Steril. 1989, 52: 495-502.Google Scholar
- Imoedemhe DA, Sigue AB, Pacpaco EL, Olazo AB: The effect of caffeine on the ability of spermatozoa to fertilize mature human oocytes. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1992, 9: 155-160.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Scott L, Smith S: Human sperm motility-enhancing agents have detrimental effects on mouse oocytes and embryos. Fertil Steril. 1995, 63: 166-175.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Klonoff-Cohen H, Bleha J, Lam-Kruglick P: A prospective study of the effects of female and male caffeine consumption on the reproductive endpoints of IVF and gamete intra-fallopian transfer. Hum Reprod. 2002, 17: 1746-1754. 10.1093/humrep/17.7.1746.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Marshburn PB, Sloan CS, Hammond MG: Semen quality and association with coffee drinking, cigarette smoking, and ethanol consumption. Fertil Steril. 1989, 52: 162-165.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Jensen TK, Henriksen TB, Hjollen NH, Scheike T, Kolstad H, Giwercman A, Ernst E, Bonde JP, Skakkebaek NE, Olson J: Caffeine intake and fecundability: a follow-up study among 430 Danish couples planning their first pregnancy. Reprod Toxicol. 1998, 12: 289-295. 10.1016/S0890-6238(98)00002-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Armstrong BG, McDonald AD, Sloan M: Cigarette, alcohol, and coffee consumption and spontaneous abortion. Am J Publ Health. 1992, 82: 85-87.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tournaye H, Devroey P, Camus M, Van der Linden M, Janssens R, Van Steirteghem A: Use of pentoxifylline in assisted reproductive technology. Hum Reprod. 1995, 10: 72-79.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yovich JM, Edirisinghe WR, Cummins JM, Yovich JL: Influence of pentoxifylline in severe male factor infertility. Fertil Steril. 1990, 53: 715-722.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tesarik J, Thebault A, Testart J: Effects of pentoxifylline on sperm movement characteristics in normozoospermic and asthenozoospermic specimens. Hum Reprod. 1992, 7: 1257-1263.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Paul M, Sumpter JP, Lindsay KS: Action of pentoxifylline directly on semen. Hum Reprod. 1995, 10: 354-359.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sharma RK, Agarwal A: Influence of artificial stimulation on unprocessed and Percoll-washed cryopreserved sperm. Arch Androl. 1997, 3: 173-179.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Nassar A, Morshedi M, Mahony M, Srisombut C, Lin MH, Oehninger S: Pentoxifylline stimulates various sperm motion parameters and cervical mucus penetrability in patients with asthenozoospermia. Andrologia. 1999, 31: 9-15. 10.1046/j.1439-0272.1999.00241.x.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Köhn FM, Henkel R, Schill WB: Pentoxifyllin stimuliert die Motilität von Spermatozoen nach Kryokonservierung. Fertilität. 1993, 9: 79-84.Google Scholar
- Gradil CM, Ball BA: The use of pentoxifylline to improve motility of cryopreserved equine spermatozoa. Theriogenology. 2000, 54: 1041-1047. 10.1016/S0093-691X(00)00412-X.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Stanic P, Sonicki Z, Suchanek E: Effect of pentoxifylline on motility and membrane integrity of cryopreserved human spermatozoa. Int J Androl. 2002, 25: 186-190. 10.1046/j.1365-2605.2002.00348.x.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yovich JM, Edirisinghe WR, Cummins JM, Yovich JL: Preliminary results using pentoxifylline in a pronuclear stage tubal transfer (PROST) program for severe male factor infertility. Fertil Steril. 1988, 50: 179-181.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lewis SEM, Moohan JM, Thompson W: Effects of pentoxifylline on human sperm motility in normozoospermic individuals using computer-assisted analysis. Fertil Steril. 1993, 59: 418-423.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Sikka SC, Hellstrom WJG: The application of pentoxifylline in the stimulation of sperm motion in men undergoing electroejaculation. J Androl. 1991, 12: 165-170.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- McKinney KA, Lewis SEM, Thompson W: Persistent effects of pentoxifylline on human sperm motility, after drug removal, in normozoospermic and asthenozoospermic individuals. Andrologia. 1994, 26: 235-240.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Calogero AE, Fishel S, Hall J, Ferrara E, Vicari E, Green S, Hunter A, Burrello N, Thornton S, D'Agata R: Correlation between intracellular cAMP content, kinematic parameters and hyperactivation of human spermatozoa after incubation with pentoxifylline. Hum Reprod. 1998, 13: 911-915. 10.1093/humrep/13.4.911.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tash JS, Hidaka H, Means AR: Axokinin phosphorylation by cAMP dependent protein kinase is sufficient for activation of sperm flagellar motility. J Cell Biol. 1986, 103: 649-655.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Nassar A, Mahony M, Morshedi M, Lin MH, Srisombut C, Oehninger S: Modulation of sperm tail protein tyrosine phosphorylation by pentoxifylline and its correlation with hyperactivated motility. Fertil Steril. 1999, 71: 919-923. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00013-8.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bracho GE, Fritch JJ, Tash JS: Identification of flagellar proteins that initiate the activation of sperm motility in vivo. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998, 242: 231-237. 10.1006/bbrc.1997.7937.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tesarik J, Mendoza C, Carreras A: Effects of phosphodiesterase inhibitors caffeine and pentoxifylline on spontaneous and stimulus-induced acrosome reaction in human sperm. Fertil Steril. 1992, 58: 1185-1189.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nassar A, Mahony M, Blackmore P, Morshedi M, Ozgur K, Oehninger S: Increase of intracellular calcium is not a cause of pentoxifylline-induced hyperactivated motility or acrosome reaction in human sperm. Fertil Steril. 1998, 69: 748-754. 10.1016/S0015-0282(98)00013-2.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Blackmore PF, Neulen J, Lattanzio F, Beebe SJ: Cell surface-binding sites for progesterone mediated calcium uptake in human sperm. J Biol Chem. 1991, 266: 18655-18659.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- De Jonge CJ, Han HL, Lawrie H, Mack SR, Zaneveld LJD: Modulation of the human sperm acrosome reaction by effectors of the adenylate cyclase/cyclic AMP second-messenger pathway. J Exp Zool. 1991, 258: 113-125.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yogev L, Gamzu R, Botchan A, Homonnai ZT, Amit A, Lessing JB, Paz G, Yavetz H: Pentoxifylline improves sperm binding to the zona pellucida in the hemizona assay. Fertil Steril. 1995, 64: 146-149.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Paul M, Sumpter JP, Lindsay KS: The paradoxical effects of pentoxifylline on the binding of spermatozoa to the human zona pellucida. Hum Reprod. 1996, 11: 814-819.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yogev L, Gamzu R, Botchan A, Hauser R, Paz G, Yavetz H: Zona pellucida binding improvement effect of different sperm preparation techniques is not related to changes in sperm motility characteristics. Fertil Steril. 2000, 73: 1120-1125. 10.1016/S0015-0282(00)00529-X.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tasdemir M, Tasdemir I, Kodama H, Tanaka T: Pentoxifylline-enhanced acrosome reaction correlates with fertilization in vitro. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 2102-2107.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tarlatzis BC, Kolibianakis EM, Bontis J, Tousiou M, Lagos S, Mantalenakis S: Effect of pentoxifylline on human sperm motility and fertilizing capacity. Arch Androl. 1995, 34: 33-42.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tournaye H, Janssens R, Verheyen G, Devroey P, Van Steirteghem A: In vitro fertilization in couples with previous fertilization failure using sperm incubated with pentoxifylline and 2-deoxyadenosine. Fertil Steril. 1994, 62: 574-579.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dimitriadou F, Rizos D, Mantzavinos T, Arvaniti K, Voutsina K, Prapa A, Kanakas N: The effect of pentoxifylline on sperm motility, oocyte fertilization, embryo quality, and pregnancy outcome in an in vitro fertilization program. Fertil Steril. 1995, 63: 880-886.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Negri P, Grechi E, Tomasi A, Fabbri E, Capuzzo A: Effectiveness of pentoxifylline in semen preparation for intrauterine insemination. Hum Reprod. 1996, 11: 1236-1239.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tournaye H, Janssens R, Verheyen G, Camus M, Devroey P, Van Steirteghem A: An indiscriminate use of pentoxifylline does not improve in-vitro fertilization in poor fertilizers. Hum Reprod. 1994, 9: 1289-1292.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Numabe T, Oikawa T, Kikuchi T, Horiuchi T: Pentoxifylline improves in vitro fertilization and subsequent development of bovine oocytes. Theriogenology. 2001, 56: 225-233. 10.1016/S0093-691X(01)00558-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Nodar F, De Vincentiis S, Olmedo SB, Papier S, Urrutia F, Acosta AA: Birth of twin males with normal karyotype after intracytoplasmic sperm injection with use of testicular spermatozoa from a nonmosaic patient with Klinefelter's syndrome. Fertil Steril. 1999, 71: 1149-1152. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00151-X.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Terriou P, Hans E, Giorgetti C, Spach JL, Salzmann J, Urrutia V, Roulier R: Pentoxifylline initiates motility in spontaneously immotile epididymal and testicular spermatozoa and allows normal fertilization, pregnancy, and birth after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2000, 17: 194-199. 10.1023/A:1009435732258.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Centola GM, Cartie RJ, Cox C: Differntial response of human sperm to varying concentrations of pentoxifylline with demonstration of toxicity. J Androl. 1995, 16: 136-142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tournaye H, Van der Linden M, Van den Abbeel E, Devroey P, Van Steirteghem A: Effects of pentoxifylline on in-vitro development of preimplantation mouse embryos. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 1475-1480.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Tournaye H, Van der Linden M, Van den Abbeel E, Devroey P, Van Steirteghem A: Effects of pentoxifylline on implantation and post-implantation development of mouse embryos in vitro. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 1948-1954.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lacham-Kaplan O, Trounson A: The effects of the sperm motility activators 2-deoxyadenosine and pentoxifylline used for sperm microinjection on mouse and human embryo development. Hum Reprod. 1993, 6: 945-952.Google Scholar
- Schill WB: Established and new approaches in medical treatment of male sterility. Fertilität. 1986, 2: 7-17.Google Scholar
- Merino G, Martínez Chéquer JC, Barahona E, Bermúdez JA, Morán C, Carranza-Lira S: Effects of pentoxifylline on sperm motility in normogonadotropic asthenozoospermic men. Arch Androl. 1997, 39: 65-69.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- O'Donnell JM: William Harvey Research Conference on PDE inhibitors: drugs with an expanding range of therapeutic uses. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2000, 9: 621-625.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fisch JD, Behr B, Conti M: Enhancement of motility and acrosome reaction in human spermatozoa: differential activation by type-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Hum Reprod. 1998, 13: 1248-1254. 10.1093/humrep/13.5.1248.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Mattei A, Irvine S: Paradoxical stimulation of human sperm motility by 2-deoxyadenosine. J Reprod Fertil. 1986, 78: 515-527.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Moohan JM, Winston RML, Lindsay KS: The variable effects of 2'-deoxyadenosine on human sperm motility and hyperactivation in vitro. Hum Reprod. 1995, 10: 1098-1103.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fraser LR, Duncan AE: Adenosine analogues with specificity for A2 receptors bind to mouse spermatozoa and stimulate adenylate cyclase activity in uncapacitated suspensions. J Reprod Fert. 1993, 98: 187-194.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Shen MR, Linden J, Chen SS, Wu SN: Identification of adenosine receptors in human spermatozoa. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1993, 20: 527-534.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fénichel P, Gharib A, Emiliozzi C, Donzeau M, Ménézo Y: Stimulation of human sperm during capacitation in vitro by an adenosine agonist with specificity for A2 receptors. Biol Reprod. 1996, 54: 1405-1411.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Cheng CY, Boettcher B: Partial characterization of human spermatozoal phosphodiesterase and adenylyl cyclase and the effect of steroids on their activities. Int J Androl. 1982, 5: 253-266.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hildebrandt JD, Codina J, Tash JS, Kirchick HJ, Lipshultz L, Sekura RD, Birnbaumer L: The membrane-bound spermatozoal adenylyl cyclase system does not share coupling characteristics with somatic cell adenylyl cyclase. Endocrinol. 1985, 116: 1357-1366.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Rivkees SA: Localization and characterization of adenosine receptor expression in rat testis. Endocrinol. 1994, 135: 2307-2313. 10.1210/en.135.6.2307.Google Scholar
- Allegrucci C, Liguori L, Minelli A: Stimulation by N6-cyclopentyladenosine of A1 adenosine receptors, coupled to Gαi2 protein subunit, has a capacitative effect on human spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 2001, 64: 1653-1659.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Imoedemhe DAG, Sigue AB, Pacpaco ELA, Olazo AB: In vitro fertilization and embryonic development of oocytes fertilized by sperm treated with 2-deoxyadenosine. Int J Fert. 1993, 38: 235-240.Google Scholar
- Angelopoulos T, Adler A, Krey L, Licciardi F, Noyens N, McCullough A: Enhancement or initiation of testicular sperm motility by in vitro culture of testicular tissue. Fertil Steril. 1999, 71: 240-243. 10.1016/S0015-0282(98)00434-8.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Albert DA, Nodzenski E, Heredia-Cruz G, Kuchibholtla J, Kowalski J: Deoxyadenosine- and cyclc AMP-induced cell cycle arrest and cytotoxicity. Exp Cell Res. 1991, 197: 75-81.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Schill WB, Miska W: Possible effects of the kallikrein-kinin system on male reproductive functions. Andrologia. 1992, 24: 69-75.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Monsees TK, Miska W, Blöcher S, Schill WB, Winkler A, Siems WE: Elements of the kallikrein-kinin system are present in rat seminiferous epithelium. Immunopharmacol. 1999, 45: 107-114. 10.1016/S0162-3109(99)00062-4.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Monsees TK, Blöcher S, Heidorn F, Winkler A, Siems WE, Müller-Esterl W, Hayatpour J, Miska W, Schill WB: Expression and location of the bradykinin B2 receptor in rat testis. Biol Reprod. 2002, 67: 1832-1839.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Monsees TK, Blöcher S, Loddo C, Steger K, Schill WB: Tissue kallikrein and bradykinin B2 receptors in the reproductive tract of the male rat. Andrologia. 2003, 35: 24-31. 10.1046/j.1439-0272.2003.00534.x.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Charlesworth MC, Young CY, Miller VM, Tindall DJ: Kininogenase activity of prostate-derived human glandular kallikrein (hK2) purified from seminal fluid. J Androl. 1999, 20: 220-229.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Miska W, Schill WB: Influence of bradykinin antagonists on the motility of human spermatozoa enhanced by bradykinin. Arch Androl. 1994, 33: 1-5.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sterzik K, Strehler E, Abt M, Rosenbusch B: In vitro kallikrein treatment of human spermatozoa: stimulation of sperm penetration into zona-free hamster eggs depends on the quality of initial semen parameters but not on constituents of the kallikrein-kinin system in seminal plasma. J Urol. 1994, 151: 1712-1714.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gerhard I, Roth B, Eggert-Kruse W, Runnebaum B: Effects of kallikrein on sperm motility, capillary tube test, and pregnancy rate in an AIH program. Arch Androl. 1990, 24: 129-145.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Schill WB, Preissler G, Dittmann B, Muller WP: Effect of pancreatic kallikrein, sperm acrosin and high molecular weight (HMW) kininogen on cervical mucus penetration ability of seminal plasma-free human spermatozoa. In: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Kinins II. Systemic Proteases and Cellular Function. Edited by: Fujii S, Mriya H, Suzuki T. 1979, Plenum Publishing Corp., New York, 305-310.Google Scholar
- Schill WB, Littich M: Split ejaculate insemination with and without the addition of kallikrein. Andrologia. 1981, 13: 121-126.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Maxwell WM, Robinson SJ, Roca J, Molina FC, Sanchez-Partida LG, Evans G: Motility, acrosome integrity and fertility of frozen ram spermatozoa treated with caffeine, pentoxifylline, cAMP, 2-deoxyadenosine and kallikrein. Reprod Fertil Dev. 1995, 7: 1081-1087.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yeung CH, Spier B, Cooper TG, Nacke P, Nieschlag E: The effect of bradykinin and bradykinin antagonist Hoe 140 on kinematic parameters of human spermatozoa. Int J Androl. 1996, 19: 143-149.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Glezerman M, Lunenfeld E, Potashnik G, Huleihel M, Soffer Y, Segal S: Efficacy of kallikrein in the treatment of oligozoospermia and asthenozoospermia: a double-blind trial. Fertil Steril. 1993, 60: 1052-1056.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Keck C, Behre HM, Jockenhövel F, Nieschlag E: Ineffectiveness of kallikrein in treatment of idiopathic male infertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Hum Reprod. 1994, 9: 325-329.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Miska W, Geiger R, Schill WB: Absorption studies with porcine pancreatic kallikrein in man. Agents Actions Suppl. 1992, 38: 136-143.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Boatman DE, Robbins RS: Bicarbonate:carbon-dioxide regulation of sperm capacitation, hyperactivated motility, and acrosome reactions. Biol Reprod. 1991, 44: 806-813.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Foley CW, Williams WL: Effect of bicarbonate and oviduct fluid on respiration of spermatozoa. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1967, 126: 634-637.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Brackett BG, Mastroianni L: Composition of oviductual fluid. Edited by: Johnson AD, Foley CW. 1974, Academic Press Inc., New York, 135-159.Google Scholar
- Sabeur K, Meizel S: Importance of bicarbonate to the progesterone-induced human sperm acrosome reaction. J Androl. 1995, 16: 266-271.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Harkiss D, Knox W, Paterson M, Irwine S: On the cellular mechanisms by which the bicarbonate ion mediates the extragenomic action of progesterone on human spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 1998, 58: 186-196.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Stauss CR, Votta TJ, Suarez SS: Sperm motility hyperactivation facilitates penetration of the hamster zona pellucida. Biol Reprod. 1995, 53: 1280-1285.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wennemuth G, Carlson AE, Harper AJ, Babcock DF: Bicarbonate actions on flagellar and Ca2+-channel responses: initial events in sperm activation. Development. 2003, 130: 1317-1326. 10.1242/dev.00353.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Müller C, Stalf T, Schill WB, Franken DR: Use of failed-fertilized oocytes for diagnostic zona binding purposes after sperm binding improvement with a modified medium. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1999, 16: 24-29. 10.1023/A:1022541511875.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jaiswal BS, Majumder GC: In-vitro initiation of forward motility in testicular spermatozoa. Int J Androl. 1996, 19: 97-102.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Holt WV, Harrison RAP: Bicarbonate stimulation of boar sperm motility via a protein kinase A-dependent pathway: Between-cell and between-ejaculate differences are not due to deficiencies in protein kinase A activation. J Androl. 2002, 23: 557-565.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Garty NB, Salomon Y: Stimulation of partially purified adenylate cyclase from bull sperm by bicarbonate. FEBS Letts. 1987, 218: 148-152. 10.1016/0014-5793(87)81036-0.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Chen Y, Cann MJ, Litvin TN, Iourgenko V, Sinclair ML, Levin LR, Buck J: Soluble adenylyl cyclase as an evolutionarily conserved bicarbonate sensor. Science. 2000, 289: 625-628. 10.1126/science.289.5479.625.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Magnus O, Abyholm T, Brekke I, Purvis K: Provocation testing of human sperm motility using energy substrates and activators of the cyclic nucleotide system. II. Studies on sperm from asthenozoospermic subjects. Int J Fertil. 1993, 38: 123-128.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Visconti PE, Moore GD, Bailey JL, Leclerc P, Connors SA, Pan D, Olds-Clarke P, Kopf GS: Capacitation of mouse spermatozoa. II. Protein tyrosine phosphorylation and capacitation are regulated by a cAMP-dependent pathway. Development. 1995, 121: 1139-1150.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wroblewski N, Schill WB, Henkel R: Metal chelators change the human sperm motility pattern. Fertil Steril. 2003, 79 (S3): 1584-1589.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Calvin HI: Comparative labelling of rat epididymal spermatozoa by intratesticularly administered 65ZnCl2 and [35S]cysteine. J Reprod Fertil. 1981, 61: 65-73.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Bittner J, Weber R, Hüther F, Miska W: Relevance of zinc in human sperm flagella and its relation to motility. Fertil Steril. 1999, 71: 1138-1143. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00141-7.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Baccetti B, Pallini V, Burrini AG: The accessory fibers of the sperm tail. III. High-sulfur and low-sulfur components in mammals and cephalopods. J Ultrastruct Res. 1976, 57: 289-308.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Baccetti B, Pallini V, Burrini AG: The accessory fibers of the sperm tail. II. Their role in binding zinc in mammals and cephalopods. J Ultrastruct Res. 1976, 54: 261-275.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kaminska B, Rozewicka L, Dominiak B, Mielnicka M, Mikulska D: Zinc content in epididimal spermatozoa of Metoclopramid-treated rats. Andrologia. 1987, 19: 677-683.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Calvin HI, Hwang FHF, Wohlrab H: Localisation of zinc in a dense fiber-connecting piece fraction of rat sperm tails analogous chemically to hair keratin. Biol Reprod. 1974, 13: 228-239.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lindemann CB: Functional significance of the outer dense fibres of mammalian sperm examined by computer simulations with the geometric Clutch Model. Cell Mot Cytoskeleton. 1996, 34: 258-270. 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0169(1996)34:4<258::AID-CM1>3.0.CO;2-4.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Defosse K, Koyro HW, Weiβmann N, Schill WB: Estimate of the oxygen consumption and intracellular zinc concentration of human spermatozoa in relation to motility. Asian J Androl. 2003, 5: 3-8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Benveniste J, Henson PM, Cochrane CG: Leukocyte dependent histamine release from rabbit platelets: The role of Ig-E, basophils, and platelet-activating factor. J Exp Med. 1972, 136: 1356-1376.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Braquet P, Touqui L, Shen TY, Vargaftig BB: Perspectives in platelet-activating factor research. Pharmacol Rev. 1987, 39: 97-145.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Koltai M, Hosford D, Guinot P, Esanu A, Braquet P: Platelet activating factor (PAF). A review of its effects, antagonists and possible future clinical implications (Part I). Drugs. 1991, 42: 9-29.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Koltai M, Hosford D, Guinot P, Esanu A, Braquet P: PAF. A review of its effects, antagonists and possible future clinical implications (Part II). Drugs. 1991, 42: 174-204.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Angle MJ, Jones MA, McManus LM, Pinckard RN, Harper MJ: Platelet-activating factor in the rabbit uterus during early pregnancy. J Reprod Fertil. 1988, 83: 711-722.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Haper MJK: Platelet-activating factor: A paracrine factor in preimplantation stages of development?. Biol Reprod. 1989, 40: 907-913.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Punjabi U, Vereecken A, Delbeke L, Angle M, Gielis M, Gerris J, Johnston J, Buytaert PP: Embryo-derived platelet activating factor, a marker of embryo quality and viability following ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization. J In Vitro Fert Embryo Transf. 1990, 7: 321-326.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kumar R, Harper MJK, Hanahan DJ: Occurrence of platelet-activating factor in rabbit spermatozoa. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1988, 260: 497-502.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kuzan FB, Geissler FT, Henderson WR: Role of spermatozoal platelet-activating factor in fertilization. Prostaglandins. 1990, 39: 61-74. 10.1016/0090-6980(90)90095-D.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Minhas BS, Robertson JL, Kumar R, Dodson MG, Ricker DD: The presence of platelet-activating factor-like activity in human spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 1991, 55: 372-376.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Roudebush WE, Diehl JR: Platelet-activating factor content in boar spermatozoa correlates with fertility. Theriogenology. 2001, 55: 1633-1638. 10.1016/S0093-691X(01)00508-8.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Roudebush WE, Gerald MS, Cano JA, Lussier ID, Westergaard G, Higley JD: Relationship between platelet-activating factor concentration in rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) spermatozoa and sperm motility. Am J Primatol. 2002, 56: 1-7. 10.1002/ajp.1059.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sengoku K, Tamate K, Takaoka Y, Ishikawa M: Effects of platelet-activating factor on human sperm function in vitro. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 1443-1447.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Krausz C, Gervasi G, Forti G, Baldi E: Effect of platelet-activating factor on motility and acrosome reaction of human spermatozoa. Hum Reprod. 1994, 9: 471-476.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Huo LJ, Yang ZM: Effects of platelet-activating factor on capacitation and acrosome reaction in mouse spermatozoa. Mol Reprod Develop. 2000, 56: 436-440. 10.1002/1098-2795(200007)56:3<436::AID-MRD14>3.0.CO;2-L.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Briton-Jones C, Yeung QS, Tjer GC, Chiu TT, Cheung LP, Yim SF, Lok IH, Haines C: The effects of follicular fluid and platelet-activating factor on motion characteristics of poor-quality cryopreserved human sperm. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2001, 18: 165-170. 10.1023/A:1009412004356.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Cheminade C, Gautier V, Hichami A, Allaume P, Le Lanou D, Legrand AB: 1-O-Alkylglycerols improve boar sperm motility and fertility. Biol Reprod. 2002, 66: 421-428.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Roudebush WE, Purnell ET: Platelet-activating factor content in human spermatozoa and pregnancy outcome. Fertil Steril. 2000, 74: 257-260. 10.1016/S0015-0282(00)00646-4.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Reinhardt JC, Cui X, Roudebush WE: Immunofluorescent evidence of the platelet-activating factor receptor on human spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 1999, 71: 941-942. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00096-5.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wang R, Sikka SC, Veeraragavan K, Bell M, Hellstrom WJG: Platelet-activating factor and pentoxifylline as human sperm cryoprotectants. Fertil Steril. 1993, 60: 711-715.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wang R, Bell M, Hellstrom WJG, Sikka SC: Post-thaw sperm motility, cAMP concentration and membrane lipid peroxidation after stimulation with pentoxifylline and platelet-activating factor. Int J Androl. 1994, 17: 169-173.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Roudebush WE: Role of platelet-activating factor in reproduction: Sperm function. Asian J Androl. 2001, 3: 81-85.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Roudebush W, Toledo A, Mitchell-Leef D, Elsner C, Keenan D, Slayden S, Shapiro D, Massey J, Kort H: Short-term exposure of sperm to platelet-activating factor treatment will significantly improve intrauterine insemination pregnancy rates. Hum Reprod. 2003, 18 (Suppl 1): 63-Google Scholar
- Fuse H, Sakamoto M, Ohta S, Katayama T: Effect of pentoxifylline on sperm motion. Arch Androl. 1993, 31: 9-15.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tasdemir I, Tasdemir M, Tavukcuoglu S: Effect of pentoxifylline on immotime testicular spermatozoa. J Assist Reprod Genet. 1998, 15: 90-92.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jeyendran RS, van der Ven HH, Perez-Pelaez M, Crabo BG, Zaneveld LJB: Development of an assay to assess the functional integrity of the human sperm membrane and its relationship to other semen characteristics. J Reprod Fertil. 1984, 70: 219-228.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pike IL, Ryan JP, Peers EL, Tilia LI, Catt JW: Use of the hypoosmotic swelling (HOS) test for selecting single sperm from immotile semen samples fro intracytoplasmic injection of oocytes (ICSI). Am Soc Reprod Med, Abstract book of the 51st Annual Meeting. 1995, S96-S97.Google Scholar
- Casper RF, Meriano JS, Jarvi KA, Cowan L, Lucato ML: The hypo-osmotic swelling test for selection of viable sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection in men with complete asthenozoospermia. Fertil Steril. 1996, 65: 972-976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ved S, Montag M, Schmutzler A, Prietl G, Haidl G, van der Ven H: Pregnancy following intracytoplasmic sperm injection of immotile spermatozoa selected by the hypo-osmotic swelling-test: a case report. Andrologia. 1997, 29: 241-242.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Check JH, Katsoff D, Check ML, Choe JK, Swenson K: In vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection is an effective therapy for male factor infertility related to subnormal hypo-osmotic swelling test scores. J Androl. 2001, 22: 261-265.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- El-Nour AM, Al Mayman HA, Jaroudi KA, Coskun S: Effects of the hypo-osmotic swelling test on the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection for patients with only nonmotile spermatozoa available for injection: a prospective randomized trial. Fertil Steril. 2001, 75: 480-484. 10.1016/S0015-0282(00)01762-3.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ahmadi A, Ng SC: The single sperm curling test, a modified hypo-osmotic swelling test, as a potential technique for the selection of viable sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril. 1997, 68: 346-350. 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)81527-0.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Barros A, Sousa M, Angelopoulos T, Tesarik J: Efficient modification of intracytoplasmic sperm injection technique for cases with total lack of sperm movement. Hum Reprod. 1997, 12: 1227-1229. 10.1093/humrep/12.6.1227.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Liu J, Tsai YL, Katz E, Compton G, Garcia JE, Baramki TA: High fertilization rate obtained after intracytoplasmic sperm injection with 100% nonmotile spermatozoa selected by using a simple modified hypo-osmotic swelling test. Fertil Steril. 1997, 68: 373-375. 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)81533-6.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sallam HN, Farrag A, Agameya AF, Ezzeldin F, Eid A, Sallam A: The use of a modified hypo-osmotic swelling test for the selection of viable ejaculated and testicular immotile spermatozoa in ICSI. Hum Reprod. 2001, 16: 272-276. 10.1093/humrep/16.2.272.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Buckett WM: Predictive value of hypo-osmotic swelling test to identify viable non-motile sperm. Asian J Androl. 2003, 5: 209-212.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Henkel R, Kierspel E, Hajimohammad M, Stalf T, Hoogendijk C, Mehnert C, Menkveld R, Schill WB, Kruger TF: DNA fragmentation of spermatozoa and ART. RBM Online. 2003, 7: 474-484.Google Scholar
- Asch R, Simerly C, Ord T, Ord VA, Schatten G: The stages at which human fertilization arrests in humans: defective sperm centrosomes and sperm asters as cause of human infertility. Hum Reprod. 1995, 10: 1897-1906.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Jurisicova A, Varmuza S, Casper RF: Programmed cell death and human embryo fragmentation. Mol Hum Reprod. 1996, 2: 93-98.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Simerly C, Hewitson LC, Sutovsky P, Schatten G: The inheritance, molecular dissection and reconstitution of the human centrosome during fertilization: consequences for infertility. In: Genetics of Human Male Fertility. Edited by: Barratt C, De Jonge C, Mortimer D, Parinaud J. 1997, EDK Press, Paris, 258-286.Google Scholar
- Ji BT, Shu XO, Linet MS, Zheng W, Wacholder S, Gao YT, Ying DM, Jin F: Paternal cigarette smoking and the risk of childhood cancer among offspring of non-smoking mothers. J Natl Canc Inst. 1997, 89: 238-244. 10.1093/jnci/89.3.238.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Gordon E, Harkiss D, Twigg JP, Milne P, Jennings Z, Irvine DS: Relative impact of oxidative stress on the functional competence and genomic integrity of human spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 1998, 59: 1037-1046.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, Krausz C: Oxidative stress, DNA damage and the Y chromosome. Reproduction. 2001, 122: 497-506. 10.1530/reprod/122.4.497.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- McElreavey K, Quintana-Murci L: Male reproductive function and the human Y chromosome: Is selection acting on the Y?. RBM Online. 2003, Web paper 851-Google Scholar
- Chow CK: Vitamin E and oxidative stress. Free Radical Biol Med. 1991, 11: 215-232. 10.1016/0891-5849(91)90174-2.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Niki E: Action of ascorbic acid as scavenger of active and stable oxygen radicals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991, 54: 1119S-1124S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kobayashi T, Miyazaki T, Natori M, Nozawa S: Protective role of superoxide dismutase in human sperm motility: Superoxide dismutase activity and lipid peroxide in human seminal plasma and spermatozoa. Hum Reprod. 1991, 6: 987-991.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Grootveldt M, Halliwell B: Measurement of allantoin and uric acid in human body fluids. Biochem J. 1987, 242: 803-808.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Li TK: The glutathione and thiol content of mammalian spermatozoa and seminal plasma. Biol Reprod. 1975, 12: 641-646.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ha HC, Sirisoma NS, Kuppusamy P, Zweier JL, Woster PM, Casero RA: The natural polyamine spermine functions directly as a free radical scavenger. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1998, 95: 11140-11145. 10.1073/pnas.95.19.11140.PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Thiele JJ, Freisleben HJ, Fuchs J, Ochsendorf FR: Ascorbic acid and urate in human seminal plasma: Determination and interrelationships with chemiluminescence in washed semen. Hum Reprod. 1995, 10: 110-115.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lewis SEM, Sterling ES, Young IS, Thompson W: Comparison of individual antioxidants of sperm and seminal plasma in fertile and infertile men. Fertil Steril. 1997, 67: 142-147. 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)81871-7.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pasqualotto FF, Sharma RK, Nelson DR, Thomas AR, Agarwal A: Relationship between oxidative stress, semen characteristics, and clinical diagnosis in men undergoing infertility investigation. Fertil Steril. 2000, 73: 459-464. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00567-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Aitken RJ, West KM: Analysis of the relationship between reactive oxygen species production and leukocyte infiltration in fractions of human semen separated on Percoll gradients. Int J Androl. 1990, 13: 433-451.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Holland MK, Alvarez JG, Storey BT: Production of superoxide and activity of superoxide dismutase in rabbit epididymal spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 1982, 27: 1109-1118.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lenzi A, Culasso F, Gandini L, Lombardo F, Dondero F: Placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trial of glutathione therapy in male infertility. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 1657-1662.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Griveau JF, Le Lannou D: Effects of antioxidants on human sperm preparation techniques. Int J Androl. 1994, 17: 225-231.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Donnelly ET, McClure N, Lewis SEM: Glutathione and hypotaurine in vitro: Effects on human sperm motility, DNA integrity and production of reactive oxygen species. Mutagenesis. 2000, 15: 61-68. 10.1093/mutage/15.1.61.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Quinn P, Lydic ML, Ho M, Bastuba M, Hendee F, Brody SA: Confirmation of the beneficial effects of brief coincubation of gametes in human in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 1998, 69: 399-402. 10.1016/S0015-0282(97)00576-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Luvoni GC, Keskintepe L, Brackett BG: Improvement in bovine embryo production in vitro by glutathione-containing culture media. Mol Reprod Dev. 1996, 43: 437-443. 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2795(199604)43:4<437::AID-MRD5>3.0.CO;2-Q.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fukui Y, Kikuchi Y, Kondo H, Mizushima S: Fertilizability and Developmental Capacity of Individually Cultured Bovine Oocytes. Theriogenology. 2000, 53: 1553-1565. 10.1016/S0093-691X(00)00297-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Jeong BS, Yang X: Cysteine, glutathione, and percoll treatments improve porcine oocyte maturation and fertilization in vitro. Mol Reprod Dev. 2001, 59: 330-335. 10.1002/mrd.1038.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Oeda T, Henkel R, Ohmori H, Schill WB: Scavenging effect of N-acetyl-L-cysteine against reactive oxygen species in human semen: A possible therapeutic modality for male factor infertility?. Andrologia. 1997, 29: 125-131.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sheffner AL: The reduction in vitro in viscosity of mucoprotein solutions by a new mucolytic agent, N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1963, 106: 298-310.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Meyer A, Buhl R, Magnussen H: The effect of oral N-acetylcysteine on lung glutathione levels in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Eur Respir J. 1994, 7: 431-436. 10.1183/09031936.94.07030431.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Buhl R, Bargon J, Caspary W: Antioxidantien zur Therapie von Lungenerkrankungen. MMP. 1996, 19: 287-293.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hughes CM, Lewis SEM, McKelvey-Martin VJ, Thompson W: The effects of antioxidant supplementation during Percoll preparation on human sperm DNA integrity. Hum Reprod. 1998, 13: 1240-1247. 10.1093/humrep/13.5.1240.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Comhaire FH, Christophe AB, Zalata AA, Dhooge WS, Mahmoud AM, Depuydt CE: The effects of combined conventional treatment, oral antioxidants and essential fatty acids on sperm biology in subfertile men. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000, 63: 159-165. 10.1054/plef.2000.0174.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Verma A, Kanwar KC: Effect of vitamin E on human sperm motility and lipid peroxidation in vitro. Asian J Androl. 1999, 1: 151-154.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Donnelly ET, McClure N, Lewis SEM: Antioxidant supplementation in vitro does not improve human sperm motility. Fertil Steril. 1999, 72: 484-495. 10.1016/S0015-0282(99)00267-8.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Donnelly ET, McClure N, Lewis SEM: The effect of ascorbate and α-tocopherol supplementation in vitro on DNA integrity and hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage in human spermatozoa. Mutagenesis. 1999, 14: 505-511. 10.1093/mutage/14.5.505.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Brzezinska-Slebodzinska E, Slebodzinski AB, Pietras B, Wieczorek G: Antioxidant effect of vitamin E and glutathione on lipid peroxidation in boar semen plasma. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1995, 47: 69-74.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kessopoulou E, Powers HJ, Sharma KK, Pearson MJ, Russell JM, Cooke ID, Barratt CLR: A double-blind randomized placebo cross-over controlled trial using the antioxidant vitamin E to treat reactive oxygen species associated male infertility. Fertil Steril. 1995, 64: 825-831.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Yousef MI, Abdallah GA, Kamel KI: Effect of ascorbic acid and vitamin E supplementation on semen quality and biological parameters of male rabbits. Anim Reprod Sci. 2003, 76: 99-111. 10.1016/S0378-4320(02)00226-9.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Rolf C, Cooper TG, Yeung CH, Nieschlag E: Antioxidant treatment of patients with asthenozoospermia or moderate oligoasthenozoospermia with high-dose vitamin C and vitamin E: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Hum Reprod. 1999, 14: 1028-1033. 10.1093/humrep/14.4.1028.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Danikowski S, Sallmann HP, Halle I, Flachowsky G: Influence of high levels of vitamin E on semen parameters of cocks. J Anim Physiol a Anim Nutr. 2002, 86: 376-382. 10.1046/j.1439-0396.2002.00396.x.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Gavella M, Lipovac V: Pentoxifylline-mediated reduction of superoxide anion production by human spermatozoa. Andrologia. 1992, 24: 37-39.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Yovich JL: Pentoxifylline: Actions and applications in assisted reproduction. Hum Reprod. 1993, 8: 1786-1791.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gavella M, Lipovac V: Effect of pentoxifylline on experimentally induced lipid peroxidation in human spermatozoa. Int J Androl. 1994, 17: 308-313.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- McKinney KA, Lewis SEM, Thompson W: The effects of pentoxifylline on the generation of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation in human spermatozoa. Andrologia. 1996, 28: 15-20.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Okada H, Tatsumi N, Kanzaki M, Fujisawa M, Arakawa S, Kamidono S: Formation of reactive oxygen species by spermatozoa from asthenozoospermic patients: Response to treatment with pentoxifylline. J Urol. 1997, 157: 2140-2146. 10.1097/00005392-199706000-00030.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Lilja H: Cell biology of semenogelin. Andrologia. 1990, 22 (Suppl 1): 132-141.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Figenschau Y, Bertheussen K: Enzymatic treatment of spermatozoa with a trypsin solution, SpermSolute: Improved motility and enhanced ATP concentration. Int J Androl. 1998, 22: 342-344. 10.1046/j.1365-2605.1999.00180.x.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.