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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Seminal tissue factor revisited.

Studies of seminal tissue factor ( TF) are few and mostly based on small numbers. Due to the reported lack of factor (F) X in semen, it has been suggested that TF may not have a role in seminal coagulum formation. However, recent identification of a number of haemostatic factors in semen justifies a re-evaluation of its occurrence. Semen specimens were collected from sub-fertile (n = 19), normally fertile (n = 33), semen donors (n = 30) and vasectomized subjects (n = 62), some fractionated into sperm, a prostasome-rich fraction and seminal plasma. Functional and antigenic TF levels were measured and related to conventional fertility parameters. Semen contains high concentration of functional and antigenic TF. Most TF was found in seminal plasma prepared by low-speed centrifugation. When further fractionated by ultracentrifugation much of this may reside in the pellet (prostasomal fraction). It was also detectable on sperm. TF antigen levels were higher in vasectomized subjects than sub-fertile, normally fertile, donor (p = 0.02) and a 'pooled normal semen parameters' (PNSP) stratification (derived from a combination of measurements) (p = 0.06). The sub-fertile group showed a wider variation than normal, donor or the PNSP subjects. Seminal TF antigen levels correlated significantly with sperm agglutination (p = 0.03) and abnormal sperm morphology (p = 0.04). Subjects with anti-sperm antibodies also showed high TF antigen levels. In conclusion, semen contains functional and antigenic TF at high concentrations. A full complement of clotting factors probably exists in semen, so some pro-coagulant role for TF should not be excluded. Decreased seminal TF levels appear to be associated with seminal parameters that are known to favour male fertility.[1]


  1. Seminal tissue factor revisited. Lwaleed, B., Jackson, C., Greenfield, R., Stewart, A., Delves, G., Birch, B., Cooper, A. Int. J. Androl. (2006) [Pubmed]
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