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1 October 2002 Progesterone Receptor as an Indicator of Sperm Function
Sushama Gadkar, C. A. Shah, Geetanjali Sachdeva, Urmila Samant, C. P. Puri
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Expression of progesterone receptor (PR) localization on spermatozoa was determined in men with normal and abnormal spermiograms. Studies were also carried out to evaluate the potential of PR as a marker of sperm function. Progesterone receptor expression on spermatozoa from men with normozoospermia (n = 8), oligozoospermia (n = 7), asthenozoospermia (n = 8), oligoasthenozoospermia (n = 7), and teratozoospermia (n = 11) was analyzed using an immunocytochemical method with monoclonal antibodies against PR, and flow cytometry using a cell-impermeable fluorescein-tagged progesterone coupled to BSA complex (P-FITC-BSA). Both methods revealed significantly fewer (P < 0.05) PR-positive spermatozoa in men with oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, oligoasthenozoospermia, and teratozoospermia compared with men with normozoospermia, thereby suggesting that down-regulation of PR expression in spermatozoa may be one of the causes of male infertility. Spermatozoa from men with normozoospermia (n = 12), oligozoospermia (n = 12), asthenozoospermia (n = 12), oligoasthenozoospermia (n = 9), and teratozoospermia (n = 10) were exposed to low osmotic conditions in the hypoosmotic swelling (HOS) test and then analyzed for PR expression using P-FITC-BSA complex. A significantly higher percentage (P < 0.05) of spermatozoa with physiologically active plasma membrane (HOS ) lacked PR expression (HOS PR−) in all categories of men with infertility, thereby suggesting that compared to the HOS test, PR expression is a better indicator of sperm function. Furthermore, PR expression in spermatozoa showed a strong (P < 0.05) positive correlation with their ability to undergo an in vitro acrosome reaction. This was observed in all study groups (i.e., normozoospermia, r = 0.8545; oligozoospermia, r = 0.8711; asthenozoospermia, r = 0.7645; oligoasthenozoospermia, r = 0.9003; and teratozoospermia, r = 0.8676). This suggests a potential role for PR in the events leading to the acrosome reaction in sperm.

Sushama Gadkar, C. A. Shah, Geetanjali Sachdeva, Urmila Samant, and C. P. Puri "Progesterone Receptor as an Indicator of Sperm Function," Biology of Reproduction 67(4), 1327-1336, (1 October 2002).
Received: 29 January 2002; Accepted: 1 May 2002; Published: 1 October 2002

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