Background: Application of follicular fluid (FF) and platelet-activating factor (PAF) in artificial insemination improves sperm motility. Lactate dehydrogenase C (LDH-C) is a key enzyme for sperm motility. In this study, the effects of FF and PAF on the sperm motility index and LDH-C expression were investigated. Moreover, LDH-C expression was compared between asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic samples.
Methods: The expression of LDH-C was examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (q-RT PCR) and western blotting after it was treated with optimized concentrations of FF and PAF in twenty asthenozoospermic samples. Also, LDH-C expression was evaluated in five normozoospermic samples.
Results: Samples with 75% FF and 100 nM of PAF had an increase in their percentages of progressive and slowly motile sperms and a decrease in their percentages of non-progressive and non-motile sperms. Moreover, LDH-C mRNA transcripts were not changed following PAF and FF treatment, and LDH-C protein was detected in highly progressive motile specimens treated with FF in the asthenozoospermic samples. Furthermore, LDH-C expression was more detectable in the normal sperms.
Conclusion: Our results indicated that PAF had more beneficial effects than FF on sperm motility in the asthenozoospermic samples (P=0.0001), although the LDH-C expressions of the sperms were not changed significantly in both groups. We found no association between LDH-C expression and sperm motility after FF and PAF actions. This finding, however, requires further investigation. The fact that LDH-C protein was detected in the normozoospermic, but not asthenozoospermic, samples could be cited as a reason for the infertility in these patients.
Keywords: Asthenozoospermia; Follicular fluid; LDH-C; Platelet-activating factor; Sperm motility.