Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  Users Online: 573 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size  

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-33  

Evaluation of acrosome intactness status in male infertility in Mysore, South India

Molecular Reproductive and Human Genetics Laboratory, DOS in Zoology, University of Mysore, Manasagangothri, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication1-Jun-2012

Correspondence Address:
Suttur v Malini
Molecular Reproductive and Human Genetics Laboratory, DOS in Zoology, University of Mysore, Manasagangothri, Mysore - 570 006, Karnataka
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23776805

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

Background and Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the status of acrosome intactness in different infertile conditions among men who have attended the Mediwave Fertility Research Center, Mysore, South India. Materials and Methods: A total of 70 infertile and 20 control subjects were employed in the study. Infertile subjects were classified into different conditions according to the WHO protocol. The data obtained was statistically analyzed. Results: In the present study, seven different infertile conditions were reported. For the acrosome intactness test, except oligospermia, all other conditions recorded a statistically significant value (P < 0.05) compared with the control group. Conclusions: The present study shows the decreased acrosomal enzyme activity in infertile males compared with fertile males. If diagnosed and treated earlier, it may help in the success of the in vitro fertilization technique.

Keywords: Acrosome test, infertility, spermatozoa

How to cite this article:
Sreenivasa G, Vineeth V S, Kavitha P, Malini Sv. Evaluation of acrosome intactness status in male infertility in Mysore, South India. Int J App Basic Med Res 2012;2:31-3

How to cite this URL:
Sreenivasa G, Vineeth V S, Kavitha P, Malini Sv. Evaluation of acrosome intactness status in male infertility in Mysore, South India. Int J App Basic Med Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Oct 26];2:31-3. Available from: https://www.ijabmr.org/text.asp?2012/2/1/31/96801

   Introduction Top

Infertility is defined as failure to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. [1] In the general population, approximately 15% of all human couples are infertile, and male factors contribute to 50% of this condition among infertile couples. [2] The shape of the sperm reflects normal development of sperm in the testicle, which indicates the normal spermatogenesis process. Men with defect in sperm maturation process have high levels of abnormal sperm morphology and associated risk for the failure of the sperm to fertilize the egg. [3] Low sperm acrosome integrity has been observed in several infertile conditions. [4] It has been suggested that the level of acrosin activity of the sperm may be a useful determinant of sperm fertility potential. [5] In most of the infertility centers, clinical diagnosis of male infertility involves physical and microscopic examination followed by hormonal analysis, whereas at some of the clinics Trans Rectal Ultrasound Scanning (TRUS) is also practiced. Accordingly, the treatment is provided for few months and, if found futile, assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are recommended and performed. Assessment of the functional status of the sperm along with the conventional and routine evaluation will enable to improve the success rate of IVF. Here, an attempt has been made to assess the quality of semen through the sperm function test named acrosome intactness test (AIT), in the view of studying the extent of damage in semen profile among different types of infertility diagnosed.

   Materials and Methods Top

The present study was carried out in the Department of Studies in Zoology, Molecular Reproductive and Human Genetics Laboratory, University of Mysore, Mysore. Semen samples of 70 infertile subjects and 20 controls were collected from Mediwave IVF and Fertility Research Center, Mysore. On the basis of microscopic analysis of semen, these study subjects were classified into different infertile conditions. Institutional ethical clearance was obtained and informed consent was taken from the subjects as well as from the controls.

The semen samples were collected from the infertile subjects as well as from the control group through masturbation after 3-5 days of ejaculatory abstinence. The samples were collected in a sterile plastic container in a room specially provided for this purpose according to the WHO protocol. [6] The semen volume, pH, motility, morphology, vitality and count were analyzed and recorded in both infertile and control groups.

Acrosome intactness test

The AIT was carried out by the protocol described by Gopalkrishnan et al. (1995). [7] Semen samples were diluted with phosphate-buffered saline-d-glucose solution and left for incubation at 37°C. These diluted semen samples were gently smeared on gelatin-coated slides and Incubated room temperature for 5-15 min. The slide was then transferred to a moist chamber and incubated at 37°C for 2 h. The slides were examined under bright field microscopy using a 40X objective. Spermatozoa having intact acrosome responds with a halo, which indicates the acrosome reaction and acrosome intactness.

Statistical analysis

The data obtained was analyzed using Minitab (version 15) statistical software. Paired t-test was employed to find out the significant correlation.

   Results Top

[Table 1] shows the prevalence of different infertile conditions and the spermiogram. Oligoteratozoospermic condition shows decreased mean sperm viability (49.1 ± 21.7) than the other condition. The AIT shows a decrease in the mean value for all the infertile conditions compared with the control group.

[Table 2] shows the statistical analysis of the AIT in different infertile conditions. Except oligospermia (P = 0.767), all other conditions recorded a significant (P < 0.05) variation in the sperm acrosome intactness compared with controls.
Table 1: Prevalence of different infertile conditions and spermeogram

Click here to view
Table 2: Statistical analysis of the Acrosomal Intactness Test in different infertile conditions (compared with controls)

Click here to view

It was found that there was a significant decrease in the AIT in the infertile group compared with controls. It was 44.6 ± 10 in the infertile group, compared with a value of 63.7 ± 15 in the control group. [Figure 1] shows the acrosome intactness status in the control and infertile subjects.
Figure 1: Response of acrosomal enzyme intactness and reaction in different infertile conditions. (Spermatozoa having intact acrosome will show a halo, which indicates the acrosome reaction, and acrosome intactness), (a and e) Response in teratozoospermia (b) Response in oligospermia, (c) Response in oligoasthenospemia, (d) Response in asthenoteratozoospermia, (f) Response in oligoteratozoospermia, (g and h) Response in the control subjects

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

The acrosome of the sperm is a specialized, cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of the sperm nucleus. Although the acrosome varies in size and shape from species to species, its basic structure remains the same in all mammals. [8] Acrosomal reaction (AR) assists in assessing the ability of sperm fertilization and its reaction with zona pellucida. The activity of the acrosomal enzymes indicates the intact status of the acrosome. Intact acrosome prevents loss of acrosomal enzymatic activity during acrosome reaction in the female genital tract prior to fertilization. [9]

The sperm cell membrane harbors molecules necessary for the recognition and binding of sperms to the zona pellicuda and has to retain the membrane throughout the process. The outer membrane must remain intact after the release of the acrosomal enzymes as the acrosome contains a variety of hydrolytic enzymes such as acrosin, which is a trypsin-like serine protease that hydrolyzes the egg membrane to enable the spermatozoa to navigate the interstices of the corona radiata. [10]

In the present study, we found reduced AR in all infertile conditions and hence our study accords the study done by Emokpae and Uadia. [11] The present study confirms a strong association between acrosome enzyme activity and fertility potential of spermatozoa. The acrosome reaction creates structural alteration required for the various constraints to be overcome. Suitable acrosome formation and the intracellular relocation of acrosome proteins during spermiogenesis are believed to be prerequisite modifications for eventually mature sperm to function properly as the fertilization process proceeds. [12] Hence, reduced acrosomal enzyme activity in the present study could be due to various conditions such as sperm malformation and local inflammation with leucocyte infiltration.

In the present study, acrosomal enzyme activity in infertile men was found to be significantly lower than that in fertile men. Hence, apart from the routine physical and microscopic examination, analysis of AIT plays a vital role to evaluate the complete sperm profile. Further, it will be a cost-effective and precise diagnostic tool to assess the sperm-fertilizing potential at the initial stage to evaluate male fertility rates. Effective and personalized treatments can be recommended to improve the quality of sperms if diagnosed earlier and if found to be of very poor quality. Thus, the chances of improving the fertility status of the individual are better instead of directly opting for assisted reproductive techniques.

   Acknowledgment Top

The authors are thankful to Dr. Sharath Kumar C, Chief Surgeon, Mediwave Fertility Research Center, Mysore, for kindly referring the patients and timely inputs. Thanks are also due to Prof. M. M. Misro NIHFW, New Delhi, for his kind support. The authors would like to thank UGC-RFSMS for financial support.

   References Top

1.Cooper TG, Noonan E, von Eckardstein S, Auger J, Baker HW, Behre HM, et al. World Health Organization reference values for human semen characteristics: Human Reproduction Update. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009. p. 1-15.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Bhasin S, de Kretser DM, Baker HW. Pathophysiology and natural history of male infertility. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1994;79:1525-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Abbiramy VS, Shanthi V. Spermatozoa Segmentation and Morphological Parameter Analysis Based Detection of Teratozoospermia. Int J Compt 2010;3:7-19.   Back to cited text no. 3
4.Tzvetkova P, Zhuing LI, Tzvetkov D. Evaluation on Sperm Acrosome Integrity of Infertile Men with Varicocele. J Reprod Contracept 2007;18:19-24.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Kennedy WF, Kaminski JM, Vander Ven H, Jeyendran H, Reid RS, Blackwell DS, et al. A simple clinical assay to evaluate the acrosin activity of human spermatozoa. J Androl 1989;10:221-31.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.World Health Organization. WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination of Human Semen and Sperm-Cervical Mucus Interaction. 4 th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Gopalkrishnan K. Standardized procedures in human semen analysis. Curr Sci 1995;68:353-62.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.McLeskey SB, Dowds C, Carballada R, White RR, Saling PM. Molecules involved in mammalian sperm-egg interaction. Int Rev Cytol 1998;177:57-113.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Tambe AS, Kaore SB, Sawane MV, Gosavi GB. Acrosome intactness and seminal hyaluronidase activity: Relationship with conventional seminal parameters. Indian J Med Sci 2001;55:125-32.   Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
10.Zalata AA, Ahmed AH, Allamaneni SS, Comhaire FH, Ashok A. Relationship between acrosin activity of human spermatozoa and oxidative stress. Asian J Andro 2003;6:313-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Emokpae MA, Uadia PO. Acrosin activity in spermatozoa of infertile nigerian males. J Clin Biochem 2006;21:199-201.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Tadasuke oh-oka, Tanii I, Wakayama T, Yoshinaga K, Watanabe K, Toshimori K. Partial Characterization of an Intra-Acrosomal Protein, Human Acrin1 (MN7). J Androl 2001;22:17-24.  Back to cited text no. 12


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded393    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal