A morphological and functional study of fusibility in round-headed spermatozoa in the human

B. Dale, M. Iaccarino, A. Fortunato, G. Gragnaniello, K. Kyozuka, E. Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the molecular origin and functionality of the plasma membrane of round-head spermatozoa in the human. Design: Clinical and laboratory study. Setting: Patients in a clinical and academic environment. Patients: Men with round-head spermatozoa. Results: Pisum sativum lectin homogeneously stains the surface of round sperm; however, the staining pattern and transmission electron microscopy show that the plasma membrane does not alter after exposure to the calcium ionophore A23187. In a clinical program, round-head spermatozoa injected subzonally into metaphase II oocytes with or without pretreatment with the fusogen polyethylene glycol did not bind or fuse to the oocyte surface. Conclusion: The data suggests that plasma membrane fusion in human gametes is regulated by specific surface molecules and that exposure of these molecules on the sperm surface cannot be triggered by elevating intracellular calcium alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-340
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Round-head human spermatozoa
  • fusogens
  • subzonal insertion
  • surface glycoproteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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