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

Deficiency in fertilization by morphologically abnormal sperm produced by azh mutant mice.

Male mice homozygous for the azh mutation produce spermatozoa with abnormal head shapes and have significantly reduced fecundity, to between 5% and 10% that of wild-type or heterozygous mice. Several possible causes of this infertility were investigated. No gross endocrine disorders in azh/azh male mice were observed, and they exhibited apparently normal mating behavior. In addition, their sperm were motile, were capable of hyperactivated motility, and did not show premature acrosome reactions. However, quantitative analysis revealed slight but significant reductions in several motility parameters. Analysis of embryos following mating of azh/azh males with superovulated females indicated a reduction in the number of fertilized eggs compared to control matings. In vitro, spermatozoa from azh/azh mice failed to fertilize cumulus-intact/zona-intact and cumulus-free/zona-intact ova, although they successfully fertilized zona-free ova. These results indicate that the primary defect in fertility of azh/azh male mice is a result of sperm quality, likely, in sperm morphology, and is manifest at the level of interaction with the zona pellucida.[1]


  1. Deficiency in fertilization by morphologically abnormal sperm produced by azh mutant mice. Meistrich, M.L., Kasai, K., Olds-Clarke, P., MacGregor, G.R., Berkowitz, A.D., Tung, K.S. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (1994) [Pubmed]
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