Not for love how the egg finds a mate

(ORDO NEWS) — In 2020, researchers from the University of Stockholm and Manchester found that the sex cells of partners decide for themselves whether they are suitable for each other – and sympathy has absolutely nothing to do with it.

In the scientific community, there has long been a hypothesis that the biochemical mechanism of interaction between sperm and eggs is weakly associated with the psychological aspects of the relationship between a man and a woman.

Even if we spend a lot of effort trying to figure out if a potential partner is suitable for the role of the future father or mother of the offspring, the germ cells in the end will decide for themselves whether they should create a new organism.

To confirm this assumption, doctors studied the follicular fluid that surrounds human eggs. They release special substances into the liquid medium – chemoattractants – which enter into a chemical reaction with spermatozoa. And it seems that in case of “refusal” they can force the male sex cells to change the direction of their movement.

As a result of a series of tests, their concept was confirmed . The eggs made their choice regardless of whether the carrier of the male DNA was the actual partner of the donor woman. Doctors have traced an interesting trend: it is the egg that always makes the decision, and not the sperm.

Zoologist John Fitzpatrick from Stockholm University explains this circumstance by the fact that a man does not particularly sacrifice anything, parting with his seed – but a woman has a serious task in nurturing and bearing a future person. From the point of view of biology, this is a very responsible, complex and even dangerous process, and therefore the eggs must be extremely picky when choosing a partner.

However, the team admits that their experiment was not as close to real conditions as possible. Thus, the concentration of spermatozoa was much higher than in the natural environment (20,000 spermatozoa per egg versus 250, which are on average released per sexual intercourse), and they were placed quite close to the egg, which minimizes differences in the effects of chemoattractants.

If in the future researchers can find a way to “convince” the egg that a particular partner is ideal for them, then it will contribute both to the treatment of infertility and the prevention of many genetic diseases at the stage of fertilization.


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