Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 283–287 | Cite as

The effect of α-amylase on the acrosomal membrane of human sperm

  • A. D. Esterhuizen
  • J. G. H. Lourens
  • H. W. Lindeque
  • C. A. Groenewald
  • M. V. K. Giesteira
  • G. P. J. Labuschagne



Sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction are prerequisites to accomplishing fertilization. The object of this research was to induce capacitation and the acrosome reaction of human sperm, comparing the acrosome status of fertile and infertile men, using α-amylase.


Acrosome status was measured using indirect immunofluorescence (IIF; monoclonal antibody GB24, Thèramex), hemizona assay (HZA), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).


Acrosome-reacted sperm without α-amylase treatment was significantly more abundant in the fertile versus the infertile group utilizing IIF, HZA, and TEM. α-Amylase-treated spermatozoa from the fertile and infertile groups showed a significant increase in the number of sperm bound to the hemizona (P <0.05).


The percentage of acrosome-reacted sperm in the infertile group was significantly enhanced by a-amylase, utilizing IIF and TEM.

Key words

α-amylase human sperm hemizona assay acrosome reaction 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Esterhuizen
    • 1
  • J. G. H. Lourens
    • 2
  • H. W. Lindeque
    • 1
  • C. A. Groenewald
    • 1
  • M. V. K. Giesteira
    • 1
  • G. P. J. Labuschagne
    • 1
  1. 1.Garden City and Constantia Clinic Reproductive Biology UnitBrixtonSouth Africa
  2. 2.Andrology DepartmentDu Buisson and PartnersPretoriaSouth Africa

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