1st ICIRA Prize for a research work made by the UA and the Bernabeu Institute on the effects caused on sperm by cannabis' by-products
Alicante, 11th November 2011
UA Professor Joaquin de Juan and his team have provided relevant data on the treatment of Assisted Reproduction with this work.
Joaquín De Juan Herrero, professor in Cell Biology at the UA, and his team of researchers from the UA Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Reproductive Biology from the Bernabeu Institute, have won the first ICIRA Prize (Merck Serono) in the category relevant data contribution on assisted reproduction treatment for the paper entitled “Distribución de los receptores neuronales de los cannabinoides (CB1 y CB2) en el espermatozoide humano: implicación en su movilidad” (Distribution of neuronal receptors for cannabinoids (CB1 and CB2) in human spermatozoa: involvement in mobility). This award is one of the most prominent in the field of reproductive medicine nationwide.
In this research work, they have studied the effects of cannabinoids (substances derived from marihuana) and endocannabinoids (produced by the body) on male fertility and verified that there are significant changes in behavior and sperm function under the influence of cannabinoids.
According to the data, these substances have an important effect on sperm movement, progressively decreasing mobility and increasing the proportion of sperm immobile and therefore unable to fertilize the female egg. Also, it causes an increase of premature acrosome reaction (ie, the reaction necessary to enter the oocyte) decreasing the human sperm fertilizing capacity. Finally there has been a marked and significant decline in the viability of male germ cell.
These findings open new perspectives in research on the fertilizing capacity of male germ cells that provide insight into the complex mechanisms of the Human Fertilisation and also reveal the influence of many exogenous factors (drugs, drugs, endocrine disruptors, etc..) On this small cell so complex despite its apparent simplicity.
Universidad de Alicante Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig Alicante (Spain)