Cell membrane proteins from oviductal epithelial cell line protect human spermatozoa from oxidative damage

Cell membrane proteins from an oviductal epithelial cell line have protective effects on spermatozoa against oxidative stress.

Venus W. Huang, B.Sc., Weie Zhao, M.B.B.S., Cheuk-Lun Lee, Ph.D., Cherie Y. L. Lee, Ph.D., Kevin K. W. Lam, Ph.D., Jennifer K. Y. Ko, M.B.B.S., William S. B. Yeung, Ph.D., Pak-Chung Ho, M.D., Philip C. N. Chiu, Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 5, Pages 1444-1452.e3, April 2013


To study the potential in vitro protective action of oviductal epithelial cell membrane proteins against oxidative damage in human spermatozoa.

Prospective in vitro study.

University research laboratory and infertility clinic.

Semen from males attending the infertility clinic at the Queen Mary Hospital with normal semen parameters (World Health Organization, 2010).

We studied the effect of oviductal epithelial cell membrane proteins on the sperm functions and endogenous antioxidant enzyme activities.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Sperm motility, lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, intracellular ROS level, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities

Oviductal epithelial cell membrane proteins bind to the human spermatozoa and protect them from ROS-induced damages in terms of sperm motility, membrane integrity, DNA integrity and intracellular ROS level. Spermatozoa-oviduct epithelial cells interaction also enhances the antioxidant defenses in spermatozoa.

Our results demonstrated the protective effects of spermatozoon-oviductal epithelial cell interaction against oxidative stress in human spermatozoa. The results enhance our understanding on the protective mechanism of oviduct on sperm functions.

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