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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 798754, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/798754
Research Article

Ultrastructural Morphology of Sperm from Human Globozoospermia

1Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS “Burlo Garofolo”, 34137 Trieste, Italy
2Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, 34149 Trieste, Italy
3IOM-CNR, SS 14, Km 163, 5 Basovizza, 34149 Trieste, Italy
4Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, 34128 Trieste, Italy

Received 28 December 2014; Accepted 8 July 2015

Academic Editor: Pavel Hozak

Copyright © 2015 Giuseppe Ricci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Globozoospermia is a rare disorder characterized by the presence of sperm with round head, lacking acrosome. Coiling tail around the nucleus has been reported since early human studies, but no specific significance has conferred it. By contrast, studies on animal models suggest that coiling tail around the nucleus could represent a crucial step of defective spermatogenesis, resulting in round-headed sperm. No observations, so far, support the transfer of this hypothesis to human globozoospermia. The purpose of this work was to compare ultrastructural morphology of human and mouse model globozoospermic sperm. Sperm have been investigated by using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The images that we obtained show significant similarities to those described in GOPC knockout mice, an animal model of globozoospermia. By using this model as reference, we were able to identify the probable steps of the tail coiling process in human globozoospermia. Although we have no evidence that there is the same pathophysiology in man and knocked-out mouse, the similarities between these ultrastructural observations in human and those in the experimental model are very suggestive. This is the first demonstration of the existence of relevant morphological homologies between the tail coiling in animal model and human globozoospermia.