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Treatment of aromatase (CYP19A1) inhibitor reduces fertility in porcine sperm

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 January 2015

Jong-Nam Oh
Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology Major, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea.
Jae Yeon Hwang
Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology Major, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea.
Kwang-Hwan Choi
Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology Major, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea.
Chang-Kyu Lee*
Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology Major, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-921Korea. Designed Animal and Transplantation Research Institute (DATRI), Institute of Green Bio Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Kangwon-do 232-916, Korea.
All correspondence to: Chang-Kyu Lee. Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology Major, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-921Korea. Tel: +82 2 880 4805. Fax: +82 2 873 4805. e-mail:


To ascertain whether aromatase (CYP19A1) expression is linked to sperm fertility of pigs, the present study determined the expression of the CYP19A1 gene in porcine sperm and its relationship with fertilization in vitro. First, to investigate its role in fertility, the presence of CYP19A1 of mRNA and protein expression in porcine sperm were confirmed by real-time (RT) or quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) and by western blots. The expression levels were determined quantitatively using two sperm groups recovered by a Percoll gradient, which revealed that the sperm group with a low density had a higher penetration rate than that of the high-density group (P < 0.05). However, the expression level of CYP19A1 was not significantly different between the two groups. Secondly, to examine the effect of aromatase activity on fertilization, fresh semen was treated with a steroidal inhibitor, exemestane (50 μM for 0.5 h), followed by the dose- and time-dependent viability test. Our results clearly showed that an exemestane treatment effect (P < 0.05) was found for both the sperm-penetration rate and the oocyte cleavage rate. These results indicated that CYP19A1 could be involved in sperm fertility and its expression in sperm plays an important role in fertilization.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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