Evolution in mice can explain infertility in humans

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that copper rats evolved in a specific way to ensure faster fertilization, which may explain some cases of infertility in humans.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that copper rats evolved in a specific way to ensure faster fertilization, which may explain some cases of infertility in humans.

The research team, in collaboration with Charles University in Prague, discovered that hamsters suffer from some of their immune protection properties in order to have a faster fertilization process. This is due to the lack of a protein called CD46 . This protein is present in both animals and humans and helps protect the body's cells from attacking the immune system. Over time, hamsters have lost the ability to produce this protein, resulting in the loss of stability of the conical structure, also known as the tops, which cover the head of the sperm.

Picture 1 of Evolution in mice can explain infertility in humans Photo 1 of Evolution in mice can explain infertility in humans

New research shows that hamsters produce a particularly immune protein to help fertilize faster to compete with other mice.(Photo: iStockphoto / Silvia Letizia Gandolla)

This instability allows vertices to separate from the sperm head to create a new, essential surface for sperm to merge into the egg. This is a natural process that takes place in humans over a period of time, but copper mice have a way to make this process faster.

Professor Peter Johnson, an immunologist, explains: 'The hamster produces a particularly immune protein that makes this reproductive process faster to successfully compete with other mice. Female mice will produce more eggs if there are many male mice competing for it, and it would be beneficial for a male mouse if its sperm reacts quickly to defeat other opponents in fertilization. "

' By cultivating the knowledge of defects of the CD46 protein, we can improve the treatments for human infertility . In humans, only one egg is produced in a month and no evolution is needed to increase the sperm's rapid response to egg fertilization. So this process is slower, and any errors in the CD46 protein can lead to the loss of stability of sperm very soon.

Interestingly, the rapid response in mice is similar to the response in vitro fertilization in humans, the vertex in this fertilization method is separated from the sperm head in an artificial manner before it is taken to eggs to accelerate fertilization. Hamsters seem to proceed with this process naturally.

This study is published in Reproduction.