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  • La Fecondation par Micro-Injection des Spermatides: Problemes Resolus, Questions Posees
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La fécondation par injection d'une spermatide dans l'ovule

Fertilization by spermatid injection into the oocyte

Resume

La technique de fécondation in vitro (FIV) par injection intracytoplasmique d'un spermatozoïde (ICSI) s'est rapidement répandue dans les centres de FIV. Les résultats récents confirment non seulement l'efficacité de la technique, mais aussi son innocuité, les rares anomalies observées chez les enfants pouvant être imputées à l'héritage du génome paternel. L'ICSI rend inutiles les fonctions acquises par le gamète issue de la méiose (spermatide) quand il subit la spermiogenèse pour se transformer en spermatozoïde. Ces fonctions (mobilité, protection du génome, systèmes de reconnaissance et de pénétration de l'ovocyte) peuvent donc être considérées comme le tribut payé par la spermatogenèse pour rendre possible la fécondation dans l'organisme féminin, chez tous les mammifères. L'hypothèse d'une “surmaturité” du gamète masculin, rendue nécessaire par les aléas de la fécondation naturelle, est confortée par la comparaison des gamétogenèses mâle et femelle puisque l'ovocyte “mûr” est méiotiquement plus immature que la spermatide.

A l'issue d'expériences réussies chez le lapin et la souris, des spermatides ont été à l'origine de plusieurs naissances normales après ICSI dans l'espèce humaine (France, Angleterre, Belgique). Dans tous les cas les hommes étaient azoospermiques et les spermatides ont été recueillies soit dans le sperme éjaculé, soit dans le testicule. La place de l'ICSI avec spermatides dans l'AMP dépend de plusieurs facteurs encore mal connus actuellement. Nous avons évalué à 76% la proportion d'hommes souffrant d'azoospermie non obstructive qui présentent des spermatides dans leur éjaculat. L'ICSI avec spermatides pourrait donc concerner 5 à 10% des hommes stériles.

Abstract

There was a recent large spreading of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to treat male infertility in most of in vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratories. The recent data confirm the efficacy of ICSI even by using testicular sperm or sperm with grossly abnormal phenotype (round head, absence of motility).

Moreover it appears that ICSI could pass beyond the last events of spermatogenesis (i.e. spermiogenesis), since normal development follows fertilization with the male gamete, spermatid, recovered just after completion of meiosis. It is obvious that the natural properties of a mature spermatozoon (motility, ADN compaction, oocyte recognition and penetration) are only necessary to reach the site of fertilization (into the female tube) and to pass through the protective enveloppes around the oocyte (cumulus oophorus, zona pellucida, plasma membrane). The current view that spermatids lack genetic maturation comparing to eggs is not valid since eggs are only secondary oocytes at a meiotic stage equivalent to that of secondary spermatocytes. Moreover genetic imprinting occurs before meiosis, and cytoplasmic structures which seem necessary for embryo development are already present in spermatids.

ICSI using spermatid cells is relevant to men suffering non obstructive azzospermia if spermatids are recovered from either the ejaculate or the testicular tubes. Several normal babies were born after injection of round spermatids. Since these spermatogenic cells are present in the ejaculate of most of the patients with non obstructive azoospermia (76% in our lab), one can estimate to 5–10% the proportion of sterile men potentially concerned by conception with spermatids. However certain of these men may have occasional sperm found with testicular sperm extraction and it is to early to know if such iatrogenic extraction is always preferable to ejaculate spermatid collection.

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Testart, J. La fécondation par injection d'une spermatide dans l'ovule. Androl. 7, 13–21 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03034516

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03034516

Mots clés

  • spermatide
  • ICSI
  • méiose
  • fécondation

Key words

  • spermatid
  • ICSI
  • meiosis
  • fertilization