Online and face-to-face programmes to suit your CPD needs, apply now for September 2018
Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_92833

'Bone-fide' link to low sperm count?

21 February 2011
Appeared in BioNews 596

A bone cell hormone can regulate male fertility hormone testosterone, a study on mice has found. Male mice engineered to produce little osteocalcin, a hormone released by bone cells called osteoblasts, had smaller litters and testes than unmodified mice. US researcher Dr Gerard Karsenty and colleagues are investigating whether this hormone could treat men with infertility problems because many hormones have similar effects in mice and humans.

The researchers found male mouse testes cells grown in the presence of osteoblasts produced three times more testosterone than cells grown with fat or muscle cells. Osteocalcin was directly responsible for the increase in testosterone because growing testes cells in the presence of this hormone or injecting mice with it led to increased testosterone levels.

However, the scientists were surprised to discover osteoblasts grown alongside tissue from mice ovaries did not increase the levels of female fertility hormones oestrogen and progesterone. 'We were flabbergasted', Dr Karsenty from New York's Columbia University told New Scientist magazine. 'Don't ask me why it only affects males because I don't know'.

The study was published in Cell.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Endocrine Regulation of Energy Metabolism by the Skeleton
Cell |  17 February 2011
Low sperm count? Your bones might be to blame
New Scientist |  17 February 2011
Of femurs and fertility
Nature |  21 February 2011
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
7 November 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
A PhD student at the University of Twente in the Netherlands has developed an at-home fertility test for men which counts sperm and measures their motility...
25 July 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd 
A team of international scientists has found a common genetic variant which may explain why some men with normal sperm counts and good quality sperm are affected by infertility....
4 October 2010 - by Owen Clark 
A study has shown that mutations in the NR5A1 gene may be responsible for many unexplained cases of male infertility....
20 September 2010 - by Dr Charlotte Maden 
Scientists claim to have developed a new technique for sperm preservation, which allows more functioning sperm to be recovered. The Chilean and German team reportedly used vitrification, which is currently used for cryopreserving ('freezing') eggs and embryos, to successfully preserve sperm...
13 September 2010 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
Two men in the UK have been prosecuted for allegedly offering sperm for sale over the internet, according to BBC News. Ricky Gage, 49, and Nigel Woodforth, 42, both from Reading, are facing two charges brought under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 for operating a website known as Fertility 1st without a licence...
10 May 2010 - by Professor Allan Pacey 
Nearly 10 years ago, Professor Niels Skakkebæk from the Copenhagen University Hospital, published details of a new syndrome to account for the apparent increase in problems related to the male reproductive system that had been documented in many countries...
12 April 2010 - by Sarah Pritchard 
The UK's first stand-alone clinic focused on recruiting new sperm donors, has announced its opening. The London Sperm Bank (LSB) - licensed by fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - will incorporate two existing sperm banks, the Louis Hughes Sperm Bank, and the London Women's Clinic's (LWC's) own bank...
6 April 2010 - by Dr Sophie Pryor 
Consuming large volumes of soft drinks may lower mens' sperm count, suggest the results of a new Danish study....
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.