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    Outer dense fibre 2 (Odf2 or ODF2) is a cytoskeletal protein required for flagella (tail)-beating and stability to transport sperm cells from testes to the eggs. There are infertile males, including human patients, who have a high percentage of decapitated and decaudated spermatozoa (DDS), whose semen contains abnormal spermatozoa with tailless heads and headless tails due to head-neck separation. DDS is untreatable in reproductive medicine. We report for the first time a new type of Odf2-DDS in heterozygous mutant Odf2+/- mice. Odf2+/- males were infertile due to haploinsufficiency caused by heterozygous deletion of the Odf2 gene, encoding the Odf2 proteins. Odf2 haploinsufficiency induced sperm neck-midpiece separation, a new type of head-tail separation, leading to the generation of headneck sperm cells or headnecks composed of heads with necks and neckless tails composed of only the main parts of tails. The headnecks were immotile but alive and capable of producing offspring by intracytoplasmic headneck sperm injection (ICSI). The neckless tails were motile and could induce capacitation but had no significant forward motility. Further studies are necessary to show that ICSI in humans, using headneck sperm cells, is viable and could be an alternative for infertile patients suffering from Odf2-DDS.


    Chizuru Ito, Hidenori Akutsu, Ryoji Yao, Keiichi Yoshida, Kenji Yamatoya, Tohru Mutoh, Tsukasa Makino, Kazuhiro Aoyama, Hiroaki Ishikawa, Koshi Kunimoto, Sachiko Tsukita, Tetsuo Noda, Masahide Kikkawa, Kiyotaka Toshimori. Odf2 haploinsufficiency causes a new type of decapitated and decaudated spermatozoa, Odf2-DDS, in mice. Scientific reports. 2019 Oct 03;9(1):14249

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    PMID: 31582806

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