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Brief Report

Effects of Highly Polluted Environment on Sperm Telomere Length: A Pilot Study

CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Andrology Unit of the “San Francesco d’Assisi” Hospital, ASL Salerno, EcoFoodFertility Project Coordination Unit, Oliveto Citra, 84020 Salerno, Italy
Infertility Center, ASL Salerno Vallo della Lucania Hospital, 84078 Salerno, Italy
Reproduction Unit, HERA Center, Sant’Agata Li Battiati, 95030 Catania, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1703;
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Aging)
High environmental pressure may impair male fertility by affecting sperm quality, but the real effect remains controversial. Herein, we assessed the influence of environmental exposure on telomere length (TL) in both leukocytes (LTL) and sperm cells (STL). A pilot biomonitoring study was conducted in 112 clinically healthy, normospermic men living in various areas of Campania region (South of Italy) with high (n = 57, High Group) or low (n = 55, Low Group) environmental pressure. TL analysis was assessed by quantitative real time-PCR. STL was not significantly correlated with either age (p = 0.6) or LTL (p = 0.7), but was significantly longer in the High Group compared with the Low Group (p = 0.04). No significant difference was observed between leukocyte TL in the High or Low Group. Our results showed that male residents in areas with high environment exposure had a significant increase in STL. This finding supports the view that the human semen is a sentinel biomarker of environmental exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: environment; telomere length; sperm quality environment; telomere length; sperm quality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vecoli, C.; Montano, L.; Borghini, A.; Notari, T.; Guglielmino, A.; Mercuri, A.; Turchi, S.; Andreassi, M.G. Effects of Highly Polluted Environment on Sperm Telomere Length: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1703.

AMA Style

Vecoli C, Montano L, Borghini A, Notari T, Guglielmino A, Mercuri A, Turchi S, Andreassi MG. Effects of Highly Polluted Environment on Sperm Telomere Length: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(8):1703.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vecoli, Cecilia, Luigi Montano, Andrea Borghini, Tiziana Notari, Antonino Guglielmino, Antonella Mercuri, Stefano Turchi, and Maria G. Andreassi. 2017. "Effects of Highly Polluted Environment on Sperm Telomere Length: A Pilot Study" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18, no. 8: 1703.

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