Incomplete nuclear transformation of human spermatozoa in oligo-astheno-teratospermia: characterization by indirect immunofluorescence of chromatin and thiol status
Authors: Ramos, L.; van der Heijden, G.W.; Derijck, A.; Berden, J.H.; Kremer, J.A.M.; van der Vlag, J.; de Boer, P.
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 23, Number 2, 23 February 2008 , pp. 259-270(12)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sperm heterogeneity in the human, as observed in oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia (OAT), is associated with hypospermatogenesis.
The chromatin of sperm from OAT and normospermic males was characterized with antibodies specific for nucleosomes, the histone H3.1/H3.2 isoform, histone TH2B, apoptosis-associated H4 acetylation (KM-2) and protamines. Subsequently, sperm samples were stained with the thiol-specific fluorochrome monobromobimane (mBBr) before and after reduction with dithiotreitol (DTT) as most thiol groups reside in the cysteine-rich protamines. We also used fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) for sperm histograms and sorting for high or low free and total thiol levels. These fractions were further analysed for DNA damage with the TdT-UTP nick end-labelling (TUNEL) assay.
OAT sperm nuclei stained higher for nucleosomes and KM2-epitopes, and lower for TH2B. For free, and total, thiol groups, OAT sperm were characterized by biphasic distributions, reflecting incomplete thiol oxidation as well as overoxidation, and possibly reduced protamine contents. The TUNEL assay on sperm subfractions, for both control and OAT sperm, revealed that a lower level of free thiol groups is associated with a higher TUNEL incidence, and this relationship was also found for total thiol levels. Hence, both overoxidation and a low total number of thiol groups predestine for sperm apoptosis.
Chromatin characteristics reflecting an incomplete nucleosome to protamine remodelling were found in subfertile males. Sperm apoptosis is related to both incomplete remodelling and protamine overoxidation.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 23 February 2008
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