Demonstration of specific binding
of cocaine to human spermatozoa

Yazigi RA, Odem RR, Polakoski KL
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Washington University School of Medicine,
St Louis, Mo.
JAMA 1991 Oct 9; 266(14):1956-9


Exposure of males to cocaine has been linked to abnormal development of their offspring. To investigate the possible role of sperm, this study examined the interaction of cocaine with human spermatozoa. Washed sperm were incubated with tritiated cocaine (6.7 nmol/L) with or without unlabeled cocaine (670 mumol/L), and the samples were filtered and the remaining radioactivity quantitated. The specific binding was optimal at 20 minutes and 23 degrees C. Competition studies with tritiated cocaine (3.4 to 66.6 nmol/L) indicated the presence of approximately 3.6 x 10(3) binding sites per cell, with a high affinity receptor dissociation constant (Kd = 12.6 nmol/L). Cocaine concentrations as high as 670 mumol/L had no detectable effect on either the motility or viability of the cells. These results support the hypothesis that the sperm may act as a vector to transport cocaine into an ovum. This novel mechanism could be involved in the abnormal development of offspring of cocaine-exposed males.

Rat testes
Dopaminergic agents
Cocaine-bound sperm
The coke-craving brain
Cocaine and depression
Cocaine and the lonely rat
Prenatal cocaine exposure
Monoamines, cocaine and rats
Cocaine and artificial enzymes
Freebasing flies go hyperkinetic

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