Semen parameters in men with varicocele: DNA fragmentation, chromatin packaging, mitochondrial membrane potential, and apoptosis.JBRA Assist Reprod. 2017 12 01; 21(4):295-301.JA
To evaluate varicocele effects on conventional semen parameters: sperm DNA fragmentation, chromatin packaging, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and sperm apoptosis.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with semen samples from 2,399 men of couples who attended an infertility clinic. A total of 16.3% (391/2399) of the men were diagnosed with varicocele by a urologist.
A regression analysis revealed that the percentages of sperm with DNA fragmentation, abnormal chromatin packaging, and abnormal MMP were significantly increased in individuals with varicocele, when compared to men without varicocele. Apoptosis was not influenced by varicocele. Conventional semen parameters were significantly worse in individuals with the disease. On the other hand, in men with varicocele, Spearman's correlation demonstrated that early apoptosis and abnormal MMP showed a positive and significant correlation with sperm DNA fragmentation.
Men with varicocele had worse semen parameters, including increased levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, inactive mitochondria, and abnormal chromatin packaging. These changes are possible causes of infertility in individuals with varicocele.