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Additionally, instead of having one tail flagellum per sperm cell, affected sperm have multiple flagella, most often four. Because of the additional genetic material, if one of these abnormal sperm cells combines with an egg cell, the embryo will not develop or the pregnancy will result in miscarriage. Macrozoospermia is estimated to affect 1 in 10, males in North Africa. The prevalence of the condition outside this region is unknown.

How does the sperm look like?

This protein is abundant in male testes, which are the male reproductive organs in which sperm are produced and stored. In the testes, this protein regulates the division of sperm cells. Aurora kinase C ensures that the mechanisms for cell division are in place and helps chromosomes properly align with each other so that every new sperm cell contains one copy of each chromosome after cell division. AURKC gene mutations that cause macrozoospermia lead to the production of a nonfunctional protein or a protein that is quickly broken down. This lack of aurora kinase C blocks cell division in sperm cells.

Without cell division, the chromosomes are not split among multiple new sperm cells. As a result, affected sperm cells contain extra chromosomes, usually four copies of each instead of the usual one.

This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern , which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition. Identification of a new recurrent aurora kinase C mutation in both European and African men with macrozoospermia.

What Causes It?

Hum Reprod. Epub Aug A new AURKC mutation causing macrozoospermia: implications for human spermatogenesis and clinical diagnosis. The last part is the tail which is the driving force behind sperm motility Figure 3.

Normal sperm has an egg-shaped head and smooth edges with a width of approximately two 2 microns and a length of four 4 microns. The acrosome has no vacuoles.

The neck and tail have a total approximate length of forty-five 45 microns. The tail is slim and long with no curls or kinks. Abnormal sperm can be found in many forms and generally has defects at the head such as excessively small or large heads, flat heads, water drop-shaped heads, round heads, asymmetric shapes or abnormalities of the neck such as broken necks, cytoplasmic droplets and abnormalities of the tail such as curled tails, split tails or sperm with no tails, etc.


Figure 4. According to studies, mal-formed sperm have inhibited fertilization capacity, lower pregnancy rates and higher risk for spontaneous abortion. However, if males maintain good health by eating healthy foods and exercising along with avoiding alcohol consumption and smoking, sperm quality will be improved with a better chance of having children in your family.