Andrology. Reliability of the comet assay in cryopreserved human sperm
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 17, Number 5, May 2002 , pp. 1274-1280(7)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Although the comet assay has potential value for measuring DNA damage in large epidemiological human sperm studies, it is impractical to perform the assay daily on fresh semen samples. Therefore, before its use in epidemiological studies, the reliability of the comet assay in measuring DNA damage in cryopreserved sperm should be compared with that in fresh human sperm. METHODS: Semen samples from 16 men were cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen (LN) using four methods: flash freezing with and without cryopreservative, and programmable freezing with and without cryopreservative. Neutral microgel electrophoresis was performed and comets were stained with YOYO-1. Comet length was measured using an eyepiece micrometer at ×400 magnification. RESULTS: The highest correlation was between comet assay results obtained from fresh human semen compared with semen flash frozen without cryopreservative (R = 0.88). However, the method of cryopreservation, as compared with other sources of variability, accounted for only 6% of the variability. Inter-individual variability accounted for 20%, and individual sperm-to-sperm variability within an ejaculate accounted for 65%. CONCLUSIONS: Flash-freezing in LN without cryopreservative most closely reproduced the results obtained using fresh human semen samples, and thereby represents the most appropriate cryopreservation method for human semen in epidemiological studies utilizing the neutral comet assay.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Environmental Health Department, Occupational Health Program and 2: Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 3: Biostatistics Department, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, 4: Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Service Andrology Laboratory and IVF unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Publication date: 2002-05-01
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.