Bjerregaard, B3; Lemmen, J G1; Petersen, M R3; Ostrup, E3; Iversen, L H3; Almstrup, K2; Larsson, L-I3; Ziebe, S1
1 Fertility Department, Juliane Marie Centre, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark2 Department of Growth and Reproduction, Juliane Marie Centre, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark3 unknown
MAIN PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTION: To determine whether the true fusogen Syncytin-1 and its receptor (ASCT-2) is present in human gametes using qRT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. METHODS: Donated oocytes and spermatozoa, originating from a fertility center in tertiary referral university hospital, underwent qRT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyzes. RESULTS: Quantitative RT-PCR of sperm samples from sperm donors showed that syncytin-1 is present in all samples, however, protein levels varied between donors. Syncytin-1 immunoreactivity predominates in the sperm head and around the equatorial segment. The receptor ASCT-2 is expressed in the acrosomal region and in the sperm tail. Moreover, ASCT-2, but not syncytin-1, is expressed in oocytes and the mRNA level increases with increasing maturity of the oocytes. CONCLUSIONS: Syncytin and its receptor are present in human gametes and localization and temporal appearance is consistent with a possible role in fusion between oocyte and sperm.
Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 2014, Vol 31, Issue 5, p. 533-39