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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-55

Evaluation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA integrity assessment in cases of idiopathic male infertility

1 Department of Dermatology and Andrology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt
2 Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hassan A Khodair
Department of Dermatology and Andrology, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-6530.123932

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Background Studies suggest that reactive oxygen species (ROS) attack the integrity of DNA in the sperm nucleus by causing base modifications, DNA strand breaks, and chromatin cross-linking. Sperm DNA damage analysis may reveal hidden sperm DNA abnormalities in infertile men with normal standard semen analysis values who were diagnosed with idiopathic infertility. Aim of the work We explored the levels of ROS and their correlation with sperm DNA damage in patients with idiopathic male infertility. Patients and methods A total of 93 men were included in this study. Among them, 68 presented to our Andrology outpatient clinic with idiopathic infertility and were selected, and 25 were healthy fertile men, who were assigned to the control group. Both groups were subjected to the following laboratory investigations: semen analysis including peroxidase test, measurement of ROS levels by chemiluminescence assay, and sperm DNA damage assessment by terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). Results There were no significant differences in the semen parameters between idiopathic infertile men and controls. However, ROS and sperm DNA damage levels were significantly higher in idiopathic infertile men compared with controls ( P ͳ 0.001). In addition, the results showed a strong positive correlation between ROS levels and the percentage of sperm DNA damage ( P ͳ 0.001). Conclusion Traditional semen analysis does not reveal seminal defects at the molecular level that might be induced by ROS. Therefore, our results suggest that standard semen analysis should be coupled with measurement of ROS and assessment of DNA integrity in cases of idiopathic male infertility as even sperms with normal morphology and motility may harbor DNA damage.

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