The inhibition of the human sperm phosphatidylinosytol 3-kinase by LY294002 does not interfere with sperm/oocyte interaction

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It has recently been reported that the selective inhibition of phosphatidylinosytol 3-kinase (PI3K) enhances human sperm motility. However, little information exists on a possible role of PI3K in other sperm functions involved in the fertilization process. In this study, we investigated whether LY294002 could affect human sperm ability to fuse with oocytes, by means of the hamster egg penetration test (HEPT). The effect on acrosome reactions (AR) and on sperm/zona pellucida (ZP) binding was also evaluated. The pre-incubation with scalar doses of LY294002 (0.1, 1 and 10 μM) did not interfere with sperm ability to fuse with oocytes either in the conventional version of the HEPT or in the version enhanced with progesterone (P). No interference with the stimulatory effect on AR exerted by P or mannose–bovine serum albumin (mannose–BSA) was revealed. Finally, LY294002 had no effect on sperm/ZP binding. These results indicate that the inhibition of PI3K by LY294002 does not interfere with sperm interaction with oocytes. This is noteworthy in the view of a possible clinical use of LY294002 as an in vitro stimulator of the sperm motility of asthenozoospermic patients for assisted reproduction techniques.

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