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A Comparison Between Two Assays for Measuring Seminal Oxidative Stress and their Relationship with Sperm DNA Fragmentation and Semen Parameters

1
Department of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NJ, UK
2
Department of Andrology, The Doctors Laboratory, London W1G 9RT, UK
3
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W2 1NY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(3), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10030236
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male Germline Chromatin)
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Abstract

Oxidative stress (OS) is a significant cause of DNA fragmentation and is associated with poor embryo development and recurrent miscarriage. The aim of this study was to compare two different methods for assessing seminal OS and their ability to predict sperm DNA fragmentation and abnormal semen parameters. Semen samples were collected from 520 men attending for routine diagnostic testing following informed consent. Oxidative stress was assessed using either a chemiluminescence assay to measure reactive oxygen species (ROS) or an electrochemical assay to measure oxidation reduction potential (sORP). Sperm DNA fragmentation (DFI) and sperm with immature chromatin (HDS) were assessed using sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). Semen analysis was performed according to WHO 2010 guidelines. Reactive oxygen species sORP and DFI are negatively correlated with sperm motility (p = 0.0012, 0.0002, <0.0001 respectively) and vitality (p < 0.0001, 0.019, <0.0001 respectively). The correlation was stronger for sORP than ROS. Reactive oxygen species (p < 0.0001), sORP (p < 0.0001), DFI (p < 0.0089) and HDS (p < 0.0001) were significantly elevated in samples with abnormal semen parameters, compared to those with normal parameters. Samples with polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) have excessive ROS levels compared to those without (p < 0.0001), but sORP and DFI in this group are not significantly increased. DNA fragmentation was significantly elevated in samples with OS measured by ROS (p = 0.0052) or sORP (p = 0.004). The results demonstrate the multi-dimensional nature of oxidative stress and that neither assay can be used alone in the diagnosis of OS, especially in cases of leukocytospermia. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; chromatin; DNA fragmentation; DNA oxidation; male infertility; spermatogenesis oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; chromatin; DNA fragmentation; DNA oxidation; male infertility; spermatogenesis
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Homa, S.T.; Vassiliou, A.M.; Stone, J.; Killeen, A.P.; Dawkins, A.; Xie, J.; Gould, F.; Ramsay, J.W.A. A Comparison Between Two Assays for Measuring Seminal Oxidative Stress and their Relationship with Sperm DNA Fragmentation and Semen Parameters. Genes 2019, 10, 236.

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