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

Paradoxical stimulation of human sperm motility by 2-deoxyadenosine.

Exposure of cryostored human spermatozoa to 2-deoxyadenosine resulted in significant increases in percentage motility, the linear velocity of progression and the frequency of sperm head rotation, which were maximal at a dose of 2.5 mM. At the same dose both adenosine and caffeine significantly increased percentage motility, although neither compound influenced the quality of sperm movement as assessed by time-exposure photomicrography. 2-Deoxyadenosine was also significantly more effective than caffeine in sustaining the motility of cryostored spermatozoa as well as in enhancing the motility of fresh and washed preparations of human spermatozoa. The ability of caffeine and 2-deoxyadenosine to influence sperm motility was counteracted by the presence of calcium in the external medium although the latter was less susceptible to such inhibition and still enhanced motility in the presence of calcium levels (1.7 mM) typical of media used for in-vitro fertilization. The mechanism of action of 2-deoxyadenosine was associated with an increase of intracellular cAMP levels, which were sustained over a time course lasting from 5 to 180 min and exhibited significant dose dependency over the range 1-10 mM. The response to 2-deoxyadenosine did not involve any changes in the steady state levels of ATP and was augmented by the presence of the phosphodiesterase inhibitors, IBMX and caffeine. We conclude that 2-deoxyadenosine is a powerful stimulator of human sperm motility and that this effect involves an increase of intracellular cAMP levels via mechanisms which do not involve the classical 'R'-site receptor mediated pathway.[1]


  1. Paradoxical stimulation of human sperm motility by 2-deoxyadenosine. Aitken, R.J., Mattei, A., Irvine, S. J. Reprod. Fertil. (1986) [Pubmed]
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