Article abstract


Nature Medicine 1, 47 - 52 (1995)
doi:10.1038/nm0195-47

The paternal inheritance of the centrosome, the cell's microtubule-organizing center, in humans, and the implications for infertility

Calvin Simerly1, Gwo-Jang Wu1, Sara Zoran1, Teri Ord2, Richard Rawlins3, Jeffrey Jones4, Christopher Navara1, Marybeth Gerrity5, John Rinehart5, Zvi Binor3, Ricardo Asch2 & Gerald Schatten1, 4, 6


Successful fertilization in humans, achieved when parental chromosomes intermix at first mitosis, requires centrosome restoration and microtubule-mediated motility. Imaging of inseminated human oocytes reveals that the sperm introduces the centrosome. The centrosome then nucleates the new microtubule assembly to form the sperm aster — a step essential for successful fertilization. Oocytes from some infertile patients failed to complete fertilization because of defects in uniting the sperm and egg nuclei, indicating that failure to properly effect the cytoplasmic motions uniting the nuclei results in human infertility. These discoveries have important implications for infertility diagnosis and managing reproduction.

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  1. 1Department of Zoology and Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center and
  2. 2Center for Reproductive Health, University of Irvine Medical Center, Orange, California 92668, USA
  3. 3Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA
  4. 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
  5. 5Assisted Reproductive Technologies Program, Glenbrook Hospital, Glenview, Illinois 60025, USA
  6. 6Correspondence should be addressed to G.S.