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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 1027158, 8 pages
Research Article

Effects of Synthetic Serum Supplementation in Sperm Preparation Media on Sperm Capacitation and Function Test Results

1Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 402, Taiwan
3Department of Urology, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 402, Taiwan
4Division of Infertility Clinic, Lee Women’s Hospital, Taichung 406, Taiwan
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 100, Taiwan

Received 18 February 2016; Revised 8 May 2016; Accepted 29 May 2016

Academic Editor: Saeid Golbidi

Copyright © 2016 Ying-Fu Shih 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.


Albumin supplementation of culture media induces sperm capacitation in assisted reproduction technique cycles. Synthetic serum supplementation is clinically used to replace albumin for preventing transmission of infectious agents. However, the effects of synthetic serum supplementation on sperm capacitation have rarely been investigated. Spermatozoa from 30 men with normal basic semen analysis results were collected, divided into five aliquots, and cultured in capacitating conditions in four combinations of two synthetic serum supplements, serum substitute supplement (SSS) and serum protein substitute (SPS), and two fertilization media, Quinns Advantage Fertilization (QF) and human tubular fluid (HTF) media. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in spermatozoa were measured through chemiluminescence. Furthermore, acrosome reaction and western blotting for tyrosine phosphorylation were used to evaluate sperm capacitation. HTF+SSS had significantly higher ROS levels than QF+SPS did (11,725 ± 1,172 versus 6,278 ± 864 relative light units). In addition, the spermatozoa cultured in QF+SPS had lower motility, acrosome reaction rates, and tyrosine phosphorylation levels compared with those cultured in HTF+SSS. In conclusion, the effects of synthetic serum supplementation on sperm capacitation varied according to the combination of media. These differences may lead to variations in spermatozoon ROS levels, thus affecting sperm function test results.