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Adriamycin induces H2AX phosphorylation in human spermatozoa

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Aim: To investigate whether adriamycin induces DNA damage and the formation of H2AX (the phosphorylated form of histone H2AX) foci in mature spermatozoa. Methods: Human spermatozoa were treated with adriamycin at different concentrations. H2AX was analyzed by immunofluorescent staining and flow cytometry and double-strand breaks (DSB) were detected by the comet assay. Results: The neutral comet assay revealed that the treatment with adriamycin at 2 g/mL for different times (0.5, 2, 8 and 24 h), or for 8 h at different concentrations (0.4, 2 and 10 g/mL), induced significant DSB in spermatozoa. Immunofluorent staining and flow cytometry showed that the expression of H2AX was increased in a dose-dependent and time-dependant manner after the treatment of adriamycin. Adriamycin also induced the concurrent appearance of DNA maintenance/repair proteins RAD50 and 53BP1 with H2AX in spermatozoa. Wortmannin, an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) family, abolished the co-appearance of these two proteins with H2AX. Conclusion: Human mature spermatozoa have the same response to DSB-induced H2AX phosphorylation and subsequent recruitment of DNA maintenance/ repair proteins as somatic cells.

Keywords: DNA double strand-breaks; adriamycin; human spermatozoa; H2AX

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Reproductive Endocrinology, Women's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310006, China 2: Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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