The University of Arizona

Seminal proteins and uterine biology in cows

-A. R. Cropp, T. C. McCauley, S. H. F. Marks, and R. L. Ax

Entrance of any foreign object into the female reproductive tract stimulates an immune response to eliminate contaminants. Following insemination, sperm activate a population of white blood cells known as neutrophils, and this activation is similar to what happens when bacteria are present in the female tract. This activation causes neutrophils to release their DNA, and the result is formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs).

These formations result in sperm-neutrophil binding causing reduced sperm motility and fertility. Seminal plasma has been shown to reduce sperm-neutrophil binding and improve fertility of sperm inseminated in the presence of neutrophils.

The formation of NETs, their impact on sperm function, and seminal components which selectively act upon neutrophils without compromising bactericidal activity in the female reproductive tract is being examined by the Ax laboratory A proprietary recombinant fertility associated-antigen (FAA) is the primary component being evaluated.

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