Association between a biomarker of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and semen quality

Joanna Jurewicz, Michał Radwan, Wojciech Sobala, Sławomir Brzeźnicki, Danuta Ligocka, Paweł Radwan, Michał Bochenek, Wojciech Hanke
2013 International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health  
Objectives: Growing evidence supports the reproductive and developmental toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from prenatal and postnatal exposure, but the results of epidemiological studies regarding harmful effects of PAHs exposure on male reproductive system still remain limited and inconclusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between 1-hydroxypyrene, a biomarker of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure and semen quality. Materials and
more » ... . Materials and Methods: The study population consisted of 277 men attending an infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes and having normal semen concentration of 20-300 mln/ml or slight oligozoospermia (semen concentration: 15-20 mln/ml) (WHO 1999). All the men were healthy and under 45 years of age. All participants were interviewed and provided a semen sample. The interview included questions concerning demographics, socio-economic status, medical history related to past diseases which may have an impact on semen quality, lifestyle factors and occupational information. Concentrations of 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) in the urine samples were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results: A positive association was found between the level of 1-OHP in urine and sperm neck abnormalities as well as the percentage of static sperm cells (p = 0.001, p = 0.018, respectively). Additionally, exposure to PAHs measured by 1-OHP in urine decreased semen volume and the percentage of motile sperm cells (p = 0.014, p = 0.0001, respectively). Conclusions: Presented findings indicate that the environmental level of PAHs exposure adversely affects male semen quality. The future large-scale studies should incorporate different biomarkers to generate a more accurate and full assessment of the effects of PAHs exposure on male fertility. POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS AND SEMEN QUALITY O R I G I N A L P A P E R S IJOMEH 2013;26(5) 791 idiopathic infertility. Also a significant association was found among men with higher 1-OHP level and sperm concentration and sperm number per ejaculum [27] . Among coke-oven workers occupationally exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the increase in the percentage of sperm with abnormal morphology was observed [28] . The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between 1-hydroxypyrene and semen quality (main semen parameters: volume, concentration, motility, CASA (Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis) parameters, sperm morphology as well as DNA damage in sperm). MATERIALS AND METHODS Study population The study population initially consisted of 344 men who were attending an infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes and who had normal semen concentration of 20-300 mln/ml or slight oligozoospermia (semen concentration: 15-20 mln/ml) (WHO 1999) [29] from the study entitled "Environmental factors and male infertility", which is a part of the project entitled "Epidemiology of reproductive hazards in Poland -a multicentre study in Poland" supported by the National Center for Research and Development in Poland, grant no. PBZ-MEiN-/8/2//2006. Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine Bioethical Committee Board approved the study (Resolution No 9/2007 June 4) and a written informed consent was obtained from all the subjects before commencement of the study. Analysis of 1-OHP in urine was performed among 277 men, so the presented data is based on this sample size. The men who participated in the study were healthy and under 45 years of age. All participants were interviewed and provided a semen sample. The interview included questions concerning demographics, socio-economic status, medical history related to past diseases which may have an impact on semen quality, lifestyle factors and occupational information. Additionally, smoking status was verified by measuring the
doi:10.2478/s13382-013-0152-9 pmid:24310922 fatcat:b3sblxjnybgrhajhefafvqcpfm