In a new hope for couples affected by infertility, researchers have come up with a method for treating male infertility using a synthetic version of the sperm-originated protein known as PAWP.
This protein is sufficient and required to initiate the fertilisation process, showed the finding that promises to diagnose and treat cases of male factor infertility where a patient’s sperm is unable to initiate or induce activation of the egg to form an early embryo.
“PAWP is able to induce embryo development in human eggs in a fashion similar to the natural triggering of embryo development by the sperm cell during fertilisation,” said Richard Oko from Queen’s University in Canada.
“Based on our findings, we envision that physicians will be able to improve their diagnosis and treatment of infertility, a problem that affects 10-15 percent of couples worldwide,” Oko added.
The results of this study highlight the potential clinical applications of sperm PAWP as a predictor of infertility treatment.
Since most human infertility treatments are now done by injecting a single sperm directly into an egg, supplementation of human sperm with PAWP protein may potentially be used to improve the success rate of infertility treatments in the future.
“The results of our study set the stage for further investigation of PAWP protein as a molecular marker for diagnosis and as a factor for improvement of infertility treatments,” Oko added.
The study was published in the FASEB Journal.