Human oocyte-derived sperm chemoattractant is a hydrophobic molecule associated with a carrier protein

Leah Armon, Ido Ben-Ami, Raphael Ron-El, Michael Eisenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective To characterize the nature of the human oocyte-derived chemoattractant. Design Laboratory in vitro study. Setting Academic research institute. Patient(s) Ten healthy sperm donors. Oocyte-conditioned media from women undergoing IVF treatment because of male factor infertility. Intervention(s) Sperm samples were processed by the migration-sedimentation technique. Oocyte-conditioned media were collected 2-3 hours after oocyte stripping. Main Outcome Measure(s) Sperm chemotaxis was assayed in a μ-slide chamber according to the direction of swimming relative to that of the chemical gradient. Result(s) Oocyte-conditioned media treated with proteases did not lose their chemotactic activity; on the contrary, they became more active, with the activity shifted to lower concentrations. When oocyte-conditioned media were subjected to hexane extraction, chemotactic activity was found in both the hydrophobic and aqueous phases. Known mammalian sperm chemoattractants were ruled out as oocyte-derived chemoattractants. Conclusion(s) Our results suggest that the oocyte-derived chemoattractant is a hydrophobic nonpeptide molecule that, in an oocyte-conditioned medium, is associated with a carrier protein that enables its presence in a hydrophilic environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-890
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by a research grant from the Chief Scientist Office of the Ministry of Health , Israel, grant number 300000-5183 .


  • Sperm chemotaxis
  • chemotaxis
  • oocyte-derived chemoattractant


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