Human sperm bioassay has potential in evaluating the quality of cumulus-oocyte complexes

A. M. Hossain, B. Rizk, C. Huff, A. Helvacioglu, I. H. Thorneycroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human sperm bioassay is routinely used as a quality control check for the culture media. This is one of the three bioassays chosen by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for interlaboratory proficiency testing to assess the standards of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and andrology laboratories. This study utilized sperm bioassay to assess the quality of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) retrieved in IVF procedures. COCs, harvested from the female partner of IVF couples, undergoing identical ovarian stimulation protocols, were individually inseminated with the sperm of the corresponding male partner. Sperm motility in sperm-COG cocultures were compared. Cocultures were established by inseminating the 103 COCs, retrieved from 18 IVF couples, with 1 x 105 to 2 x 105 sperm of the corresponding male partners of the couples. In all 18 cases, the sperm were prepared identically using the Percoll wash method. The cocultures were maintained for 48 h but the oocytes were removed immediately after the fertilization check (approximately 16 h). The motility of sperm in the cocultures and in the insemination stocks were noted and 17 of 18 sperm stocks used for insemination had similar high preinsemination motility (90.2 ± 5.0%). At 48 h the sperm, motility had significantly decreased in the cocultures compared to the insemination stocks; 52.7 ± 19.9% versus 67.2 ± 10.4%. There was no difference in the motility among the small, medium, and large COCs (56.4 ± 24.6%, 52.5 ± 17.9%, and 50.8 ± 20.9%, respectively). In 45% of IVF cases, the motility in cocultures varied widely, falling below as well as above that of their corresponding insemination stocks. Furthermore, the sperm motility varied among the cocultures in both pregnant and nonpregnant patients but the extent of variation appears to be greater in the latter. The inter-COG coculture sperm motility variation most likely is due to the differences in the quality of cumulus-oocyte complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Andrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Coculture
  • Corona
  • Cumulus cells
  • IVF
  • Sperm bioassay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Human sperm bioassay has potential in evaluating the quality of cumulus-oocyte complexes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this