Navigation Links
U of I study: Lack of omega-3 fatty acid linked to male infertility
Date:4/12/2010

URBANA According to a University of Illinois study, omega-3 fatty acids may be good for more than heart health. A little-known omega-3 may have implications for treating male infertility.

"In our experiment, we used 'knockout' mice that lacked the gene responsible for an enzyme important in making docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In the absence of DHA, male mice are basically infertile, producing few if any misshaped sperm that can't get where they need to go," said Manabu Nakamura, a U of I associate professor of food science and human nutrition.

"We looked at sperm count, shape, and motility and tested the breeding success rate, and the mice lacking DHA simply were not able to breed," said Manuel Roqueta-Rivera, a U of I doctoral student who also worked on the study.

In the DHA-deficient knockout mice, sperm counts were extremely low. The sperm that were produced were round instead of elongated and they were unable to move well, he said.

But, when DHA was introduced into the diet, fertility was completely restored. "It was very striking. When we fed the mice DHA, all these abnormalities were prevented," he said.

This is the first time that the importance of DHA to male fertility has been shown this directly, although some studies have suggested that male fertility patients with low sperm counts and less motile sperm tend to have low levels of this fatty acid.

The DHA study is part of the Nakamura team's efforts to understand the function of the omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. As part of that work, they have developed a mouse model to help them understand a particular fat's physiological role. By knocking out genes, they can create deficiencies of the fats they are interested in and learn about their functions.

"Knocking out the gene for the delta-6-desaturase enzyme has led to some surprising discoveries, including this one about the importance of DHA in sperm formation and mobility," he said.

Nakamura said our body must make DHA from dietary alpha-linolenic acids, the parent compound of the omega-3 fatty acid family. Vegetable oils, including soybean and canola oil, are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid.

Nakamura's team plans to continue focusing on this omega-3's effects on fertility. But he cautioned that there are still things they don't understand.

"We get hints from looking at sperm in the DHA-deficient animals about what type of pathology we may be looking at and why these polyunsaturated fatty acids are important. But we're still at the starting point in understanding the mechanisms that are involved, and we need to do more research at the cellular level," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. U of I study: Lack of omega-6 fatty acid linked to severe dermatitis
2. Study: Low levels of vitamin D linked to higher rates of asthma in African-American kids
3. Study: Grass, fungus combination affects ecology
4. Study: Climate change one factor in malaria spread
5. Study: Gene therapy reverses effects of lethal childhood muscle disorder in mice
6. Study: Crickets forewarn unborn babies about spiders
7. New UC Davis study: Climate tipping points may arrive without warning, says top forecaster
8. New study: Human running speeds of 35 to 40 mph may be biologically possible
9. Study: Sea stars bulk up to beat the heat
10. UF study: Exercise improves body image for fit and unfit alike
11. UNC study: Color-coded chart improves parents understanding of body mass index
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 The report "Video ... Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, ... The base year considered for the study is 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Kathy Goin is joining myClin ... brings years of expertise in establishing and leading clinical operations at Sponsors including ... occupational therapist, through a variety of leadership roles in Clinical Operations, to her ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Customers often prefer PLC and network ... METTLER TOLEDO has released two new videos that show how they have solved ... ACT350 into Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs is easy and fast. ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and pathology workflow solution provider ... Association for Pathology Informatics Annual Summit at the Wyndham Grand Hotel ... Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata will present research it led to help ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... ... In response to the strong base of evidence supporting the use of ... of their Gait Trainer 3 with an Integrated Music Therapy option. This is the ... rehabilitating individuals with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke and Parkinson’s disease. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: