Inhibition of the CatSper Channel and NOX5 Enzyme Activity Affects the Functions of the Progesterone-Stimulated Human Sperm

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Shiraz Infertility Center, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and calcium are necessary for sperm function. NADPH oxidase 5 (NOX5) is a membrane enzyme which produces ROS. This enzyme is dependent on calcium for its activity. We investigated the importance of NOX5 and an important calcium channel (CatSper) on sperm function.Methods: This laboratory in-vitro study was done in Shiraz, Iran, 2016. Normal semen samples (n=24) were washed and diluted to 20×106 sperm/mL. The diluted samples were divided into 8 groups, containing Ham’s F-10 (control group), 2 µM of NNC (CatSper channel inhibitor), 1 µM DPI (NOX5 inhibitor), and NNC+DPI. The other 4 groups were the same as the 1st ones, except that they contained 1 µM of progesterone. Motility assessment was done by VT–Sperm 3.1. Acrosome status was monitored with acrosome-specific FITC-PSA using fluorescent microscopy. Sperm viability was assessed by Eosin Y. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 16 software. The comparison between the groups was done using the one-way ANOVA, followed by Tukey. A P<0.05 was considered significant.Results: The percentage of motile sperm, sperm velocity, and viability decreased significantly in the groups containing NNC. DPI reduced sperm progressive motility only in the progesterone-stimulated condition. Progesterone induced acrosome reaction, but this effect was inhibited by NNC and DPI.Conclusion: CatSper had a prominent role in the motility, acrosome reaction, and viability of the human sperm. The function of NOX5 was important only in the stimulated sperm. We conclude that CatSper has a more prominent role than NOX5 activity. The functional relation between NOX5 and CatSper is not clear but is very probable.