The sperm of the sterile men is healthy before starting his trip out of the body, study



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The sperm of the sterile men is healthy before starting his trip out of the body, study
Image: Freepik

Infertility is a major public health problem. One in six couples is infertile in Europe1, with male infertility now the leading cause of couples seeking treatment. Damage to sperm DNA is a major cause of male infertility and reduces a couple's chances of starting a family.

Now, a new study demonstrates a sperm run of the testes along the long series of ducts before ejaculation and also shows how sperm DNA can suffer significant damage, due in part to oxidative stress.

In a new study, presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Barcelona, ​​British scientists suggest that the testicular sperm DNA of many infertile men is as good as that of ejaculated sperm from fertile men. This can clarify a noticeable reason for male infertility and opens the possibility of using sperm taken specifically in the testicles of these men; to overcome their infertility.

The scientists took sperm samples from the testes of 63 infertile men and matched them with ejaculated sperm samples to produce the same men. These infertile men had already failed their fertility treatment (intracytoplasmic sperm injection, ICSI).

Scientists also examined sperm for two types of DNA strand breaks (single and double breaks), each in testicular sperm and ejaculated sperm. A group of 76 fertile volunteers also gave ejaculated semen for comparison purposes.

They then measured the DNA damage using the Comet2 assay, which allows double-strand and single-strand breaks to be measured separately.

According to a researcher, Jonathan Ramsay (consulting urologist, Imperial College, London):

"When we looked at ejaculated spermatozoa, we found that the magnitude of damage to sperm DNA was much greater in infertile men than in infertile men, with about 15% of sperm. infertile men, but 40% in infertile men. It was not a surprise to see more damage to the DNA in the ejaculates of sterile men. What we did not expect was the consistency of these results when we examined sperm taken directly from the testes of sterile men. We found that it was of similar quality to that of the ejaculated fertile sperm.

Most of the DNA damage that occurs when the testes travel to ejaculation is caused by oxidative stress, which causes breaks in DNA on a single strand. This happens when the sperm is exposed to a poor lifestyle, for example, to an awful eating routine, sitting in front of the computer all day or smoking. Diseases, for example Crohn's disease and type 2 diabetes, also cause oxidative stress.

Professor Sheena Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Queens University Belfast and Founder of ReviewLab Ltd:

"This means that the sperm DNA from the testes of sterile men is of better quality than the sperm cells of their ejaculates. This opens the way to taking sperm directly from the testicles of men who have highly fragmented ejaculated DNA and fail cycles of treatment and who are trying to get fertility with these testicular sperm. We also noted in one subgroup that the amount of more severe double-strand DNA breaks was lower in the sperm collected in the testes, so that the use of these sperm is more likely to lead to an improvement in male fertility.

"We must be aware of what this study shows and does not show. We can not yet prove that these sperm DNA lesions are the main cause of male infertility or therapeutic failure in these men, nor that the direct use of testicular sperm would help them to improve their chances of falling. pregnant, but the work certainly goes in this direction. "

Professor Maarten Albersen (UV Louvain, Belgium, member of the Scientific Congress Office of the UAE) commented:

"Couples who face an unrealized wish due to male infertility often have to resort to assisted procreation techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI). The success rates of these techniques per cycle are rather low and various factors influence these rates. In many European countries, one or more cycles are reimbursed, which means that couples need to maximize their chances of success. In this study, a group from London showed that the integrity of DNA in infertile men is higher in testicular sperm than in ejaculated semen. "

"Since the integrity of DNA is thought to play a role in fertilization rates in AHR, these findings may help in the decision whether or not to use TEST biopsy / aspiration sampling. testicular sperm rather than the use of ejaculated spermatozoa in infertile men with signs of DNA damage. However, it would be necessary to confirm improved fertilization rates and collection rates at home before adopting this alternative strategy. "

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