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Skowronek F.,Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Reproduction | Skowronek F.,Microscopy Unit | Casanova G.,Microscopy Unit | Alciaturi J.,Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Reproduction | And 4 more authors.
Andrologia | Year: 2012

Sperm morphology has consistently been the best indicator of male fertility. Transmission electron microscopy currently provides the most information on the subcellular details of sperm structure. Recently, assessment of sperm DNA damage has been employed to assess fertility potential. The purpose of this work was to link sperm DNA damage, evaluated by an intercalated fluorescent dye, with the structural characteristics of sperm. Conventional semen analysis was performed on samples from men undergoing fertility evaluation. Thirty men were evaluated and assigned to three subgroups based on strict criteria for sperm morphology: normal morphology (>14% normal forms), intermediate morphology (5-14% normal forms), and poor morphology (<5% normal forms). By quantifying acridine orange-positive cells and ultrastructural sperm defects, we found that the poor morphology pattern group showed a positive association between sperm carrying damaged DNA and the percentage of sperm nucleus with vacuoles (P=0.01). No statistically significant correlations were established in other ultrastructural characteristics of sperm, including immature chromatin, lytic changes, or abnormal sperm tails. These results suggest that zones without chromatin in the sperm nucleus reflect underlying chromosomal or DNA defects in severe teratozoospermic men. This association should be considered in the evaluation of male fertility. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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.

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