At fertilization the mature mammalian oocyte is activated to begin development by a sperm-induced series of increases in the cytosolic free Ca 2+ concentration. These so called Ca 2+ oscillations, or repetitive Ca 2+ spikes, are also seen after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and are primarily triggered by a sperm protein called phospholipase Czeta (PLCζ). Whilst ICSI is generally an effective way to fertilizing human oocytes, there are cases where oocyte activation fails to occur after sperm injection. Many such cases appear to be associated with a PLCζ deficiency. Some IVF clinics are now attempting to rescue such cases of failed fertilization by using artificial means of oocyte activation such as the application of Ca 2+ ionophores. This review presents the scientific background for these therapies and also considers ways to improve artificial oocyte activation after failed fertilization.
Swann, K. (2018, November 1). The role of Ca 2+ in oocyte activation during In Vitro fertilization: Insights into potential therapies for rescuing failed fertilization. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2018.05.003