Wheat germ agglutinin receptors on human sperm membranes and sperm morphology

Gabriel L.K. ; Franken D.R. ; Van Der Horst G. ; Kruger T.F. ; Oehninger S.C. (1994)

Article

Sperm membrane components play an important role in the determination of sperm fertilizing ability. During spermatogenesis, epididymal transit, and capacitation, the sperm membrane undergoes various subtle changes which are important maturational events for the production of viable spermatozoa and hence partly determine fertility. Localization and intensity of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) receptors are reported to be directly associated with male fertility. We examined the correlations and differences between the distribution patterns and intensities of WGA receptors of 75 semen samples, classified according to the strict criteria described for sperm morphology, namely P-pattern (0-4% normal forms, n = 10), G-pattern (5-14% normal forms, n = 41) and normal samples (>15% normal forms, n = 15). Results indicate distinct differences in WGA receptor intensity in all of the three groups as well as significantly (P < 0.05) lower per-cent staining of the equatorial segment amongst the P-pattern group when compared to the other two groups. It would appear that there is a close relationship between WGA receptors on human sperm membranes and sperm morphology.

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