Sperm DNA damage in potentially fertile homozygous -thalassaemia patients with iron overload
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 17, Number 7, July 2002 , pp. 1820-1825(6)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:BACKGROUND: To test the hypothesis that human sperm DNA could sustain iron-induced oxidative damage and reduce its fertilizing ability, we studied patients with homozygous -thalassaemia major (HbTh) as a model of iron overload. METHODS: Sperm from six thalassaemic patients and five age-matched controls were assessed by the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay. Semen parameters, endocrine markers of testicular function, iron profiles and the presence of organ dysfunction were also determined. RESULTS: All patients with HbTh were iron overloaded (median ferritin: 2251 g/l) and had evidence of spontaneous spermatogenesis. Thalassaemic patients had more sperm DNA damage than the controls (P < 0.01). The sperm DNA damage by SCSA and TUNEL were positively correlated (P < 0.05). Sperm motility and TUNEL results were negatively correlated (P < 0.05), while the age of onset of chelation and sperm DNA damage were positively associated with both SCSA (R2 = 0.80, P = 0.016) and TUNEL data (R2 = 0.67, P < 0.044). No other biochemical or clinical data were associated with sperm DNA damage. CONCLUSIONS: The increase in sperm DNA damage and the negative correlation between sperm motility and DNA damage suggest that iron overload in HbTh predisposes sperm to oxidative injury. This finding has important implications in assisted reproductive procedures such as ICSI where there is increased risk of transmitting defective DNA to the offspring.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 2002
- 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.