Fertility tied to inflammation

A substance present in the body as a result of inflammation may also help cause male infertility, new research suggests.

A team at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., identified unusual levels of a substance called "macrophage migration inhibitory factor" (MIF) in semen samples obtained from infertile men.

May lead to male contraceptive
Reporting in the current issue of Molecular Medicine, the researchers theorise that identification of this factor could lead to tests for infertility as well as the development of a male contraceptive.

Inflammation occurs when the body endures infections such as sepsis (blood infection), autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. The factor is present in high levels during those conditions and is linked in some cases to tissue damage.

The researchers analysed semen from 27 fertile men and 68 infertile men after several days of sexual abstinence. They found that men with fertility problems had MIF levels that were either too low or too high.

Healthy levels of MIF help sperm mature so they can unite with an egg, the team said. When they added the factor to Petri dishes containing healthy sperm, the number and mobility of the sperm decreased. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Herbal therapy lowers fertility
Diabetes may cut fertility

July 2007

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