Researchers from IIT-H, KCM, Manipal design molecule to improve sperm motility in IVF

A team of researchers from IIT Hyderabad, Mangalore University and the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education has designed a small organic molecule mPTX which improves the sperm functional competence required for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  12 Aug 2021 11:15 AM GMT
Researchers from IIT-H, KCM, Manipal design molecule to improve sperm motility in IVF

Hyderabad: A team of researchers from IIT Hyderabad, Mangalore University and the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education has designed a small organic molecule mPTX which improves the sperm functional competence required for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The study has demonstrated that mPTX, a pentoxifylline derivative, was able to increase sperm motility, prolong in vitro sperm survival, improve sperm fertilization potential, without adversely affecting the development of the embryos at a much lower concentration compared to the widely used pharmacological agent - pentoxifylline in IVF technology. There are an estimated 48 million infertile couples worldwide and reduction in sperm motility is one of the major causes of male infertility. Motility is essential for sperms to reach the site of fertilization during natural conception.

The mPTX molecule is proposed to be a better pharmacological agent for assisted reproductive technology than the existing drugs. Pentoxifylline treatment increases sperm motility which goes hand in glove with the undesirable premature acrosomal reaction, which together determines the success of IVF.

The team for the study consisted of Dr Rajakumara Eerappa's group from the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Hyderabad, Dr Jagadeesh Prasad Dasappa's group from the Mangalore University, and Professor Guruprasad Kalthur's group from the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

Expressing his delight on the technological advancement the team has achieved, Prof B.S. Murty, director, IIT Hyderabad said, "The joy of parenthood can't be defined in words. The work led by Dr Rajakumara and his collaborators can bring the joy of parenthood to infertile couples, by increasing the success rate of IVF. IIT-H is one of its kind institutes to have biomedical and biotechnology departments separately nurturing the talents of students. This also demonstrates the power of synergistic collaborations. I am confident that many such technologies will keep getting developed at IIT-H."

Dr Rajakumara Eerappa, associate professor, Department of Biotechnology, said, "Our multi-institutional collaborative team is coming up with a formulation, using the combination of the mPTX and other molecules, that could be more effective than the existing formulation for the IVF procedure."

The purpose of this DST-SERB-funded project was to improve the efficacy of pentoxifylline and to reduce its adverse effects on sperms competence and embryo development.

The team has designed a molecule, mPTX, which has shown enhanced human sperm motility and longevity both in ejaculated and testicular spermatozoa characterized with poor motility. It has minimal toxicity on mouse embryos. At the same time, it reduces the premature acrosomal reaction, which is undesirable in IVF. Therefore, mPTX can be a potential drug candidate for aiding viable sperm selection in patients having immotile or poor motile spermatozoa in the ejaculate or from the testicular biopsy, and for increasing sperm motility before IVF.

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