Effects of oviductal secretion on sperm function

It has been reported that one Canadian couple in eight suffers from infertility, posing a profound medical and emotional challenge to 600,000 or more Canadians. The male factor is at least partly responsible in about 50% of infertile couples. However, as an increasing number of couples seek infertility services, there is a need to improve currently available Assisted Reproductive technology (ART) procedures.

The main objectives are: to define sperm quality and fertilizing competence for proper and ethical use of ART in alleviating male infertility utilizing human oviductin. The ultimate goal is to improve the fertilization rate of the less invasive standard IVF and IUI  procedures involving couples with male infertility indications, with the hope of improving health services use of ART procedures in Canada and worldwide.

A series of closely-knitted experiments have been designed:
1) To produce a recombinant human oviductin (rhOvi) and to assess the function rhOvi in sperm-egg binding using the hemizona-sperm binding assay;
2) To examine the role of rhOvi as an effector of sperm capacitation through stimulation of tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins, and to determine the role of rhOvi in mediating the AC/cAMP/PKA signaling pathway that regulates protein tyrosine phosphorylation.

Funded by Canadian Institute of Health Research

Principal Investigator: Frederick W.K. Kan, PhD, Queen’s University
Co-applicant: Ri-Cheng Chian, PhD, McGill University profile
Tel : 514-934-1934 x 36101
E-mail : ri-cheng.chian [at] muhc.mcgill.ca