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Abstract #3970

Measuring Glycolysis versus Oxidative Phosphorylation in Human Sperm by 13C MR Spectroscopy

Steven Reynolds1, Sarah Calvert2, Jack Pearson2, Allan Pacey2, and Martyn Paley1

1Academic unit of radiology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 2Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Two main metabolic pathways provide energy for sperm swimming; glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, producing different biomarkers, including lactate (glycolysis) and bicarbonate/CO2 (Oxphos) that can be detected by MR spectroscopy. By incubating 13C labeled exogenous metabolites with human spermatozoa we identify metabolic pathways and quantify rates of metabolism in spermatozoa. The rate constants for glucose and pyruvate conversion to lactate were estimated as 1.1±0.5x10-6s-1 and 2.4±1.1x10-6s-1 per million sperm respectively (mean±SD, n=4). Metabolic pathways used by live sperm were assessed and work is being done to estimate the relative importance of different metabolic activity in sperm of normozoospermic and asthenozoospermic patients.

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