Evaluation of sperm protamine deficiency and apoptosis in infertile men with idiopathic teratozoospermia.Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2017 Jun; 44(2):73-78.CE
Sperm morphology plays an important role in infertility, especially in cases of defects in the heads of spermatozoa. Tapered-head or elongated-head spermatozoa are examples of morphological abnormalities. The aim of this study was to compare the semen parameters, levels of protamine deficiency, and frequency of apoptosis between patients with normozoospermia and those with teratozoospermia with tapered-head spermatozoa.
Fifty-two semen samples (27 patients with tapered-head sperm and 25 fertile men) were collected and semen analysis was performed according to the World Health Organization criteria for each sample. Protamine deficiency and the percentage of apoptotic spermatozoa were evaluated using chromomycin A3 (CMA3) staining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assays, respectively.
Sperm concentration, motility, and normal morphology in the tapered-head spermatozoa (cases) were significantly lower than in the normozoospermic samples (controls). CMA3-reactive spermatozoa (CMA3+) in the case group were more common than in the controls. Apoptotic spermatozoa (TUNEL-positive) were significantly more common in the cases than in the controls.
This analysis showed that tapered-head spermatozoa contained abnormal chromatin packaging and exhibited a high rate of apoptosis, which can be considered to be an important reason for the impaired fertility potential in teratozoospermic patients with tapered-head spermatozoa.