Objective: To compare the sequential effects of human cervical mucus (CM), oviductal fluid, and follicular fluid (FF) on sperm motility, hyperactivation, and the acrosome reaction during 9 hours of incubation in vitro.
Design: Spermatozoa from a fertile donor were allowed to penetrate human CM in vitro and then were recovered and incubated in either 30% human oviductal fluid or a simple salt solution for 3 hours before challenge with 20% FF. Thus, the sequential effects of the fluids collected from the female reproductive tract on sperm hyperactivation and acrosome reaction were examined.
Setting: The donor insemination program at the University Clinic within the Jessop Hospital for Women, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Patients: All donors used in this study were involved in the donor insemination program.
Main outcome measures: Sperm motility, hyperactivation, and percentage of acrosome-reacted spermatozoa were measured.
Results: This study used an in vitro technique to mimic sperm transport in vivo. Spermatozoa sequentially incubated with female reproductive tract secretions in vitro showed a maintenance in the level of FF-induced hyperactivated motility and a decreased response to the FF-induced acrosome reaction when compared with sperm challenged with FF in the absence of prior incubation with human oviductal fluid.
Conclusion: It is suggested that human oviductal fluid may serve to delay the FF-induced acrosome reaction.
- Acrosome/drug effects
- Body Fluids/chemistry
- Cervix Mucus/physiology
- Fallopian Tubes/chemistry
- Follicular Fluid/physiology
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
- Sperm Motility/drug effects
- Sperm Transport/physiology