The nature of human sperm head vacuoles: A systematic literature review

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Motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME) involves the use of differential interference contrast microscopy (also called Nomarski contrast) at high magnification (at least 6300x) to improve the observation of live human spermatozoa. In fact, this technique evidences sperm head vacuoles that are not necessarily seen at lower magnifications - particularly if the vacuoles are small (i.e. occupying < 4% of the sperm head's area). However, a decade after MSOME's introduction, it is still not clear whether sperm head vacuoles are nuclear, acrosomal and/or membrane-related in nature. In an attempt to clarify this debate, we performed a systematic literature review in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The PubMed database was searched from 2001 onwards with the terms "MSOME", " human sperm vacuoles" , "high-magnification, sperm" Out of 180 search results, 21 relevant English-language publications on the nature of human sperm head vacuoles were finally selected and reviewed. Our review of the literature prompted us to conclude that sperm-head vacuoles are nuclear in nature and are related to chromatin condensation failure and (in some cases) sperm DNA damage. © 2013 Boitrelle et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Boitrelle, F., Guthauser, B., Alter, L., Bailly, M., Wainer, R., Vialard, F., … Selva, J. (2013, August 29). The nature of human sperm head vacuoles: A systematic literature review. Basic and Clinical Andrology.

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