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MHR: Basic science of reprod. Medicine

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 531 - 538

The role of centrosomes in mammalian fertilization and its significance for ICSI

H Schatten and Q. Y. Sun


Centrosome integrity is critically important for successful fertilization and embryo development. In humans, the sperm contributes the dominant centrosomal material containing centrioles and centrosomal components onto which oocyte centrosomal proteins assemble after sperm incorporation to form the sperm aster that is essential for uniting sperm and oocyte pronuclei. Increasingly, dysfunctional sperm centrosomes have been identified as a factor for sperm-derived infertility and heterologous Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) has been used to assess centrosome and sperm aster formation and clearly established a relationship between infertility and sperm centrosomal dysfunction. ICSI has been used successfully to provide novel treatment to overcome male factor infertility and it may open up new possibilities to correct specific sperm-related centrosome dysfunctions at molecular levels. New data indicate that it is now possible to replace dysfunctional centrosomes with functional donor sperm centrosomes which may provide new treatment for couples in which infertility is a result of centrosome-related sperm dysfunctions.

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