alexa Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs) in Human Sperm: Expression, Functionality and Involvement in Motility Regulation.
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology

Author(s): Saucedo L, Buffa GN, Rosso M, Guillardoy T

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Fibroblast growth factors receptors (FGFRs) have been widely characterized in somatic cells, but there is scarce evidence of their expression and function in mammalian gametes. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the expression of FGFRs in human male germ cells, to determine sperm FGFR activation by the FGF2 ligand and their participation in the regulation of sperm motility. The expression of FGFR1, 2, 3 and 4 mRNAs and proteins in human testis and localization of these receptors in germ cells of the seminiferous epithelium was demonstrated. In ejaculated sperm, FGFRs were localized to the acrosomal region and flagellum. Sperm exposure to FGF2 caused an increase in flagellar FGFR phosphorylation and activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase B (PKB or Akt) signaling pathways. Incubation with FGF2 led to a significant increase in the percentage of total and progressive sperm motility, as well as in sperm kinematics. All responses were prevented by sperm preincubation with BGJ398, a specific inhibitor of FGFR tyrosine kinase activity. In addition to confirming the expression of FGFRs in germ cells of the human testis, our study describes for the first time the presence, localization and functionality of human sperm FGFRs, and provides evidence of the beneficial effect of FGF2 upon sperm motility.

This article was published in PLoS One and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology

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