Effect of prostaglandins on human sperm function in vitro and seminal adenosine triphosphate content

Fertil Steril. 1988 Feb;49(2):322-7. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)59723-4.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of addition of physiologic amounts of different prostaglandins normally present in semen, on sperm motility, on sperm penetration capacity in cervical mucus in vitro, and on the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration in semen. Semen samples were obtained from volunteers who were attending the fertility outpatient clinic. Sperm motility was measured on a video recorder with a built-in timer, sperm penetration by the Kremer test, and ATP by bioluminescence assay. The addition of 19-hydroxy prostaglandin (PG) E to ejaculates positively stimulated sperm motility and sperm penetration capacity. The opposite effect was observed with 19-hydroxy PGF. PGE1, PGE2, and PGF2 alpha had no effect on either parameter, while PGF1 alpha reduced the sperm motility. The addition of 19-hydroxy PGE to ejaculates increased and the addition of 19-hydroxy PGF reduced semen concentrations of ATP. However, only the last-mentioned effect was statistically significant (P less than 0.05). It is suggested that, in particular, 19-hydroxy PGE and 19-hydroxy PGF are important regulators of sperm motility and that the effect may be mediated via effects on the ATP content in the spermatozoa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Dinoprost* / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dinoprostone* / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Prostaglandins E / pharmacology*
  • Prostaglandins F / pharmacology*
  • Semen / metabolism*
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects*
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions / drug effects*


  • Prostaglandins E
  • Prostaglandins F
  • 19-hydroxyprostaglandin E2
  • 19-hydroxyprostaglandin F
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Dinoprost
  • Dinoprostone