Variance in total levels of phospholipase C zeta (PLC-ζ) in human sperm may limit the applicability of quantitative immunofluorescent analysis as a diagnostic indicator of oocyte activation capability.
Kashir J., Jones C., Mounce G., Ramadan WM., Lemmon B., Heindryckx B., de Sutter P., Parrington J., Turner K., Child T., McVeigh E., Coward K.
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether similar levels of phospholipase C zeta (PLC-ζ) protein are present in sperm from men whose ejaculates resulted in normal oocyte activation, and to examine whether a predominant pattern of PLC-ζ localization is linked to normal oocyte activation ability. DESIGN: Laboratory study. SETTING: University laboratory. PATIENT(S): Control subjects (men with proven oocyte activation capacity; n = 16) and men whose sperm resulted in recurrent intracytoplasmic sperm injection failure (oocyte activation deficient [OAD]; n = 5). INTERVENTION(S): Quantitative immunofluorescent analysis of PLC-ζ protein in human sperm. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Total levels of PLC-ζ fluorescence, proportions of sperm exhibiting PLC-ζ immunoreactivity, and proportions of PLC-ζ localization patterns in sperm from control and OAD men. RESULT(S): Sperm from control subjects presented a significantly higher proportion of sperm exhibiting PLC-ζ immunofluorescence compared with infertile men diagnosed with OAD (82.6% and 27.4%, respectively). Total levels of PLC-ζ in sperm from individual control and OAD patients exhibited significant variance, with sperm from 10 out of 16 (62.5%) exhibiting levels similar to OAD samples. Predominant PLC-ζ localization patterns varied between control and OAD samples with no predictable or consistent pattern. CONCLUSION(S): The results indicate that sperm from control men exhibited significant variance in total levels of PLC-ζ protein, as well as significant variance in the predominant localization pattern. Such variance may hinder the diagnostic application of quantitative PLC-ζ immunofluorescent analysis.