In vitro reconstruction of inflammatory reaction in human semen: effect on sperm DNA fragmentation
Journal of Reproductive Immunology
The study was aimed at evaluating an in vitro induction of DNA damage in three sperm subpopulations exposed to selected inflammatory mediators, such as leukocytes, two combinations of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-6 + IL-8 and IL-12 + IL-18) and two bacterial strains (Escherichia coli and Bacteroides ureolyticus). Semen samples from normozoospermic volunteers were differentiated by swim-up (swim-up fraction) and Percoll gradient procedures (90% and 47% Percoll fractions).
... fractions). Leukocytes were isolated from the whole heparinized blood using the density gradient centrifugation technique. DNA fragmentation in sperm fractions was evaluated using flow cytometry with TUNEL labeling and Comet assay. Out of the inflammatory factors tested, bacteria were found to have a greatest toxic effect on sperm DNA, especially in fractions isolated by Percoll gradient, compared with untreated cells (P < 0.05). The results indicate that inflammatory mediators can be a direct cause of DNA fragmentation in ejaculated spermatozoa, which can ultimately lead to limited fertilizing abilities of the germ cells. In contrast to the swim-up technique, the selection of spermatozoa by gradient procedures increases the vulnerability of mature spermatozoa to the harmful effects of infectious agents on DNA integrity. This observation may have some meaning for recommendations concerning laboratory techniques used in assisted reproductive therapy.