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Skowronek M.F.,Transmission Electronic Microscopy Unit | Skowronek M.F.,Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Reproduction | Alciaturi J.,Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Reproduction | Casanova G.,Transmission Electronic Microscopy Unit | And 3 more authors.
Reproductive Biology | Year: 2010

A specific cause of infertility cannot be identified in at least 25% of men referred to a specialized clinic. Diagnosis of infertile men is based mainly on standard semen analysis and the observation of sperm under light microscope. The aim of our study was to find the subcellular sperm characteristics that could explain infertility in a group of teratozoospermic infertile men. Morphological characteristics of sperm from non-teratozoospermic (control donors) and teratozoospermic infertile men were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and quantified. Our analysis showed that sperm cells from control donors presented a higher number of normal heads and tails than infertile men. Regarding subcellular characteristics of nucleus and tails, only the percentage of vacuolated nucleus, the absence of at least one pair of microtubules of the axoneme and the total distortion of the tail were statistically higher in infertile men than in control donors. There were no differences in the number of normal acrosomes between the groups. Although the ultrastructural sperm defects overlapped between control donors and infertile men, TEM permits the identification and differentiation of a larger amount of defects than light microscopy. Vacuolated nucleus and gross alterations of the tail are the major sperm defects that seem to have prognostic value in teratozoospermic men. © 2010 by the Society for Biology of Reproduction. Source

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