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Foresta C.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Garolla A.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Zuccarello D.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Pizzol D.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | And 3 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2010

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) sperm infection and its correlation with sperm parameters in a cohort of young adult males. Design: Cross-sectional clinical study. Setting: Andrology and Microbiology sections at a university hospital. Patient(s): A cohort of 200 young adult male volunteers (18 years old), 100 with previous sexual intercourse and 100 without previous sexual intercourse. Main Outcome Measure(s): Seminal parameters, sperm culture for HPV and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis for HPV detection in the sperm head. Statistical analysis was performed with a two-tailed Student's t-test. Result(s): Results of HPV investigation were compared to sperm parameters and results of FISH analysis. HPV infection was present in sperm cells of 10 subjects among those 100 young adults who already had unprotected intercourse and its presence was associated with reduced sperm motility. Furthermore, infected samples showed that about 25% of sperm had an HPV DNA positivity at the head site, but it is unclear whether it was integrated in the nucleus or not. Conclusion(s): This is the first report estimating the percentage of HPV-positive sperm in infected subjects and the association between HPV infection and sperm motility. © 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Source


Ferlin A.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Pepe A.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Facciolli A.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Gianesello L.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Foresta C.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation
Bone | Year: 2010

Relaxin is a pleiotropic hormone with actions in reproductive and non-reproductive tissues, and has a role in tumor biology. It can promote growth, differentiation and invasiveness of different tumors, especially those that give bone metastases, and relaxin serum concentrations are increased in patients with bone metastasis. In osteolytic metastasis the destruction of bone is mediated by osteoclasts that are multinucleated cells derived from hematopoietic progenitors. We found that human hematopoietic precursors and mature osteoclasts express the relaxin receptor RXFP1. Then, we investigated the effects of relaxin on the differentiation, activation and gene expression of osteoclasts during in vitro osteoclastogenesis from human hematopoietic progenitor cells. Relaxin alone was able to induce the multistep differentiation process of human osteoclastogenesis with timing similar to that obtained with the classical stimulators of osteoclastogenesis RANKL, M-CSF and PTH. The expression profile of several osteoclast genes was studied with quantitative RT-PCR during the entire process of osteoclastogenesis. This analysis showed that relaxin induced genes that are implicated in the differentiation, survival and activation of osteoclasts. Relaxin-induced osteoclasts were fully differentiated, positive for tartrate resistant acid phosphatase and vitronectin receptor, expressing a typical F-actin ring and able to resorb the bone. Furthermore, relaxin induced the expression of its specific receptor RXFP1 in osteoclasts. This study demonstrates for the first time that relaxin is a potent stimulator of osteoclastogenesis from hematopoietic precursors and regulates the activity of mature osteoclasts, opening new perspectives on the role of this hormone in bone physiology, diseases and metastasis. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Ferlin A.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Speltra E.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Patassini C.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Pati M.A.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Urology | Year: 2010

Purpose: Varicocele may be associated with normozoospermia or oligozoospermia. Much controversy still exists regarding the diagnosis, management and pathophysiology of spermatogenesis alterations associated with varicocele. The increased temperature induced by varicocele and stress in general may activate heat shock proteins and heat shock factors with a protective function in cells. We analyzed the expression of 5 heat shock proteins and heat shock factors in the sperm of men with normozoospermia and oligozoospermia with or without varicocele. Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective study between June 2008 and February 2009 at an academic clinic in 117 consecutive patients with varicocele and 68 controls without varicocele. Four groups were based on the presence/absence of varicocele and normozoospermia/oligozoospermia. Subjects were studied by history, physical examination, scrotal Doppler ultrasound, semen analysis, reproductive hormone plasma levels and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in RNA extracted from ejaculated sperm to analyze HSP90, HSPA4, HSF1, HSF2 and HSFY expression. Results: Increased HSPA4, HSF1 and HSF2 were observed in the sperm of men with varicocele and in those with oligozoospermia. Levels were maximum when the 2 conditions were present. Increased HSP90 was observed in oligozoospermia cases independent of varicocele. HSFY was up-regulated only in patients with varicocele, especially those with normozoospermia. Conclusions: To our knowledge we describe for the first time the expression of different heat shock proteins and heat shock factors in ejaculated sperm. While some of these proteins are up-regulated in men with oligozoospermia and varicocele, HSFY is up-regulated only in the presence of varicocele and especially in men with normozoospermia. This suggests that it may be a molecular marker of an adequate or inadequate response to the damaging effect of varicocele on spermatogenesis. © 2010 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Source


Caretta N.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Palego P.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Schipilliti M.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | Torino M.,Center for Male Gamete Cryopreservation | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Urology | Year: 2010

Purpose: To determine whether changes in intratesticular microcirculation perfusion affect spermatogenesis in patients with left varicocele we performed testicular contrast harmonic imaging. Materials and Methods: A total of 90 patients with left varicocele (oligospermia in 50 and normozoospermia in 40) and 36 controls without varicocele (oligospermia in 16 and normozoospermia in 20) were enrolled in the study. Before contrast harmonic imaging all participants were evaluated by clinical examination, hormonal analysis, semen sample and scrotal ultrasound. We calculated contrast material arrival time in the arteriolar circulation (wash-in), time to peak in arterial circulation, arrival time in the venular circulation (washout) and mean transit time in each testis on contrast harmonic imaging. Results: We found no difference in the distribution rate of varicocele grade in patients with vs without oligospermia. All contrast harmonic imaging parameters were significantly higher in patients with varicocele plus normozoospermia or oligospermia and controls. We found no significant differences in contrast harmonic imaging parameters in patients with lower varicocele grading with respect to the higher grades. In patients with varicocele we found a negative linear correlation between total sperm count and left mean transit time (r = -0.29). In a multivariate model left mean transit time was the only independent predicting parameter of oligospermia (p <0.05). Mean transit time greater than 36 seconds predicted oligospermia in patients with left varicocele with 78% sensitivity and 58% specificity. Conclusions: To our knowledge we report for the first time that testicular contrast harmonic imaging may be a new diagnostic tool able to improve our knowledge about the influence of varicocele on intratesticular microcirculation. © 2010 American Urological Association. Source

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