Is a Sperm Cell Structure the Cause of Male Infertility?


Scientists at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toledo in Ohio have discovered a new structure in human sperm cells that may contribute to infertility and affect miscarriage and birth defect risk.

This newly identified structure, called a centriole, brings the total number of these barrel-shaped structures per human sperm cell to two. Centrioles double in number during fertilization and play an important role in embryonic development. They are necessary to build the cell's cytoskeleton, which maintains its shape, and for proper cell division. According to the researchers, this newly discovered “atypical” centriole has a slightly different shape than the one previously identified.

Earlier this year, researchers at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden discovered a spiral in the tail of human sperm, which is believed to help improve motility. Learning more about these structures and how they affect embryonic development may help researchers develop new therapies for male infertility.

Sourced from: Nature Communications