Houston IVF’s Dr. Katherine K. McKnight co-authored an article that was printed in the May 16, 2014, issue of Science Magazine

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Houston IVF’s Dr. Katherine K. McKnight co-authored an article that was printed in the May 16, 2014, issue of Science Magazine 2017-07-01T01:04:13+00:00

Project Description

May 16, 2014

Science Magazine; May 16, 2014:
Vol. 344 no. 6185 pp. 754-757
DOI: 10.1126/science.1250598

Neurosensory Perception of Environmental Cues Modulates Sperm Motility Critical for Fertilization

Katherine McKnight1, Hieu D. Hoang2, Jeevan K. Prasain3, Naoko Brown4, Jack Vibbert2, Kyle A. Hollister5, Ray Moore3, Justin R. Ragains5, Jeff Reese4,6, Michael A. Miller2,*

Environmental exposures affect

gamete function and fertility, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we show that pheromones sensed by ciliated neurons in the Caenorhabditis elegans nose alter the lipid microenvironment within the oviduct, thereby affecting sperm motility. In favorable environments, pheromone-responsive sensory neurons secrete a transforming growth factor–β ligand called DAF-7, which acts as a neuroendocrine factor that stimulates prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase
[cyclooxygenase (Cox)]–independent prostaglandin synthesis in the ovary. Oocytes secrete F-class prostaglandins that guide sperm toward them. These prostaglandins are also synthesized in Cox knockout mice, raising the possibility that similar mechanisms exist in other animals. Our data indicate that environmental cues perceived by the female nervous system affect sperm function.

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Source: Houston IVF

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