Human eggs prefer some men’s sperm to others, study finds

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Human eggs use chemical signals to attract sperm. New research from the University of Stockholm and the NHS Foundation Trust at the University of Manchester shows that eggs use these chemical signals to choose sperm. Different eggs from women attract sperm from different men – and not necessarily from their partner.

Humans spend a lot of time and energy choosing their partner. New study by researchers at the University of Stockholm and the NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) at the University of Manchester shows that the choice of your partner continues even after intercourse – human eggs can “choose” the sperm.

“Human eggs release chemicals called chemoattractants that attract sperm to unfertilized eggs. We wanted to know if eggs use these chemical signals to choose the sperm they attract, “said John Fitzpatrick, associate professor at the University of Stockholm.

Researchers examined the response of sperm to follicular fluid, which surrounds the eggs and contains chemoattractants from the sperm. Researchers wanted to know if follicular fluids from different females attracted sperm from some males more than others.

Dr. John Fitzpatrick, Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Stockholm. Credit: Magnus Bergström / Knut Foundation and Alice Wallenberg

Choice of microscopic partner

“The follicular fluid of a female was more effective at attracting sperm from one man, while the follicular fluid from another woman was better at attracting sperm from another man,” said Professor Fitzpatrick.

“This shows that the interactions between human eggs and sperm depend on the specific identity of the women and men involved. ”

The egg does not always agree with the choice of partner of women. Researchers have found that eggs do not always attract more sperm from their partner than sperm from another male.

Is it a choice of egg or sperm? Professor Fitzpatrick explained that sperm have only one job – to fertilize the eggs – so it doesn’t make sense that they are selective. Eggs, on the other hand, can benefit from the collection of high-quality or genetically compatible sperm.

“The idea that eggs choose sperm is really new in human fertility,” said Professor Daniel Brison, scientific director of the department of reproductive medicine at Saint Marys Hospital, part of the MFT, and author principal of this study.

The honorary professor at the University of Manchester added: “Research into how eggs and sperm interact will advance fertility treatments and could potentially help us understand some of the currently” unexplained “causes of infertility in couples. ”

“I would like to thank everyone who participated in and contributed to these results, which could benefit couples experiencing infertility in the future. ”

The article “The chemical signals of eggs facilitate the cryptic choice of women in humans” is published in the scientific journal Royal Society B Proceedings.


Offspring take advantage of mom who sends the right message


More information:
Chemical signals from eggs make it easier for cryptic women to choose humans, Royal Society B Proceedings, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or… .1098 / rspb.2020.0805

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Stockholm University

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Human eggs prefer some men’s sperm to others, study finds (2020, June 9)
retrieved June 10, 2020
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