The effect of egg yolk on the binding capacity of human spermatozoa to zona pellucida

R. Gamzu, H. Yavetz, D. Lichtenberg, G. Paz, Z. T. Homonnai, L. Yogev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the effects of Tes and Tris (TEST)-yolk buffer (TYB) incubation on sperm function. Design: Sperm samples obtained from 61 patients attending the infertility clinic were incubated in TYB and control medium. Binding to the zona pellucida (ZP), evaluated by the hemizona assay, membrane functional integrity evaluated by the hypoosmotic swelling test, and acrosome reaction and penetration through cervical mucus were assessed to ascertain the effect of TYB treatment. Results: The only substantial effect of TYB treatment was enhanced sperm binding to the ZP. The mean number of sperm cells attached to the hemizonae with TYB or medium treatment, was 42 ± 6.1 (±SE) and 31 ± 5.8, respectively (n = 61). However, this improvement was most obvious in 12 patients whose sperm samples exhibited a marked increase in sperm binding capacity following TYB treatment compared to medium without TYB, 71 ± 5.6 and 12 ± 2.7, respectively. In the other sperm samples (n = 49), sperm binding capacity was similar following TYB and medium treatment (both 35 ± 6.0). Conclusions: A 2-hour incubation of sperm samples with TYB-containing medium (at room temperature) enhances the binding capacity of human spermatozoa in approximately 20% of patients considered to have male factor infertility. The basis of this selective effect has yet to be studied further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1221-1225
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • TEST-yolk buffer
  • hemizona assay
  • sperm binding


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