A collaboration of researchers from Kasturba Medical College (Manipal), Mangalore University and IIT- Hyderabad has developed an organic molecule, named mPTX, which is found extremely better-performing drug to trigger sperm proficiency and activity in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
mPTX is a derivative of the chemical pentoxifylline. The researchers studied the functionality of mPTX to find that it was capable of the enhancement of sperm locomotion, elongating the survival of sperm during IVF as well as it can enhance fertilizing potentiality of sperm. mPTX has never reported any adverse effect on embryo development. Pentoxifylline was initially used in the process, but later on, discovered that a very small concentration of mPTX is required as compared to pentoxifylline even after being its derivative. This property of mPTX makes it the preferred choice as the agent to be used in reproductive technologies.
Dr R. Eerappa, associate professor, Department of Biotechnology, IIT-Hyderabad stated “Our multi-institutional collaborative team is coming up with a formulation, using the combination of this mPTX and other molecules, that could be more effective than the existing formulation for the IVF procedure”.
Several researchers from the groups of Dr R. Erappa (IIT- H), Prof. Guruprasad Kalthur (Kasturba Medical College) and Dr. J. P. Dasappa came together to design mPTX which is a very small organic molecule. Department of Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Research Board, funded their project. This whole project was conducted to enhance the competency of pentoxifylline and to bring down its adverse effect on sperm proficiency and embryo development.
Studies conducted worldwide inform that the major cause of male infertility is a reduction in sperm locomotion or motility. The tail portion of sperm facilitates its mobility, it is essential for the fertilization of sperm with the egg. If the sperms are less motile, they won’t reach the fertilization site on time. The lesser motile function of sperm makes natural conception almost impossible.
The discharge of the male i.e., ejaculate contains a large number of spermatozoa which on maturation become sperm. The amount of spermatozoa present in the ejaculate is helpful in the determination of IVF or other artificial insemination methods. Treatment with pentoxifylline enhances sperm motility which causes an undesirable premature acrosomal reaction, these activities are determining factors in the success of IVF. The premature acrosomal reaction is a biological phenomenon, in which spermatozoa lose fertilization capacity as the acrosomal enzyme is released before time. Acrosomal enzymes are required to release only when the egg is in the vicinity of the sperm.
mPTX is capable to reduce premature acrosomal reactions as well as it enhances sperm motility in the case of poor motile action of sperm. It has shown minimal toxicity in experimental mouse embryos. These all qualities have made mPTX a prime choice for the treatment during IVF treatment. In comparison to other existing drugs in the world of IVF treatment, mPTX molecule is widely accepted as a better agent.