Increased production of mouse embryos in in vitro fertilization by preincubating sperm cells with the nuclease inhibitor aurintricarboxylic acid

Germana Zaccagnini, Barbara Maione, Rodolfo Lorenzini, Corrado Spadafora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Exposure of spermatozoa to stress conditions causes a drastic reduction of their fertilizing ability. We report here that the decrease in fertilization can be effectively antagonized by preincubating sperm cells with the nuclease inhibitor drug aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA). Preincubation of mouse epididymal sperm cells with ATA increased the yield of 2-cell embryos produced by in vitro fertilization assays. The effect of ATA was selectively exerted via spermatozoa, since neither preincubation of eggs, nor the direct treatment of zygotes, modified the yield of 2-cell-stage embryos. Our results suggest that ATA does not directly improve the ability of sperm cells to penetrate the egg cytoplasm but instead acts by preserving sperm nuclei from induced or spontaneously occurring damage and/or favors events that trigger early embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549-1553
Number of pages5
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology

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