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Seminal Fluid Metabolomic Markers of Oligozoospermic Infertility in Humans

Clinical Metabolomics Unit, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09121 Cagliari, Italy
Department of Prenatal and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Fetal Therapy, Ospedale Pediatrico Microcitemico “A.Cao”, 09121 Cagliari, Italy
Divisions of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Reproductive Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metabolites 2020, 10(2), 64;
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
Infertility affects 12–15% of couples worldwide, and male factors are the cause of nearly half of all cases. Studying seminal fluid composition could lead to additional diagnostic accuracy and a better understanding of the pathophysiology of male factor infertility. Metabolomics offers a new opportunity to evaluate biomarkers and better understand pathological mechanisms. The aim of the study was to identify new markers or therapeutic targets to improve outcomes in male factor or idiopathic infertility patients. Semen samples were obtained from 29 men with a normal spermogram test, and from 18 oligozoospermic men. Samples were processed and analyzed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and, subsequently, multivariate and univariate statistical analyses. Receiving Operator Curves (ROC) and Spearman correlations were also performed. An Orthogonal Partial Least Square Discriminant Analysis supervised multivariate model was devised to compare the groups. The levels of fructose, myo-inositol, aspartate and choline were altered. Moreover, Spearman Correlation associated fructose, aspartate and myo-inositol with the total amount of spermatozoa, total motile spermatozoa, % of immotility and % of “in situ” spermatozoic motility respectively. NMR-based metabolomics allowed the identification of a specific metabolic fingerprint of the seminal fluids of patients affected by oligozoospermia.
Keywords: Seminal plasma; Oligozoospermia; Metabolomics; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; Biomarkers Seminal plasma; Oligozoospermia; Metabolomics; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; Biomarkers
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Murgia, F.; Corda, V.; Serrenti, M.; Usai, V.; Santoru, M.L.; Hurt, K.J.; Passaretti, M.; Monni, M.C.; Atzori, L.; Monni, G. Seminal Fluid Metabolomic Markers of Oligozoospermic Infertility in Humans. Metabolites 2020, 10, 64.

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