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Reprod Biomed Online. 2008 Mar;16(3):401-9.

Increased concentrations of the oxidative DNA adduct 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2-deoxyguanosine in the germ-line of men with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Reproductive Medicine Research Group, Centre for Clinical and Population Sciences, Queen's University, Belfast, Institute of Clinical Science, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ, UK.


The effects of diabetes mellitus on male reproductive health have not been clearly defined. A previous publication from this group reported significantly higher levels of nuclear DNA fragmentation and mitochondrial DNA deletions in spermatozoa from men with type 1 diabetes. This study compared semen profiles, sperm DNA fragmentation and levels of oxidative DNA modification in spermatozoa of diabetic and non-diabetic men. Semen samples from 12 non-diabetic, fertile men and 11 type 1 diabetics were obtained and subjected to conventional light microscopic semen analysis. Nuclear DNA fragmentation was assessed using an alkaline Comet assay and concentrations of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), an oxidative adduct of the purine guanosine, were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Conventional semen profiles were similar in both groups, whilst spermatozoa from type 1 diabetics showed significantly higher levels of DNA fragmentation (44% versus 27%; P < 0.05) and concentrations of 8-OHdG (3.6 versus 2.0 molecules of 8-OHdG per 10(5) molecules of deoxyguanosine; P < 0.05). Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between DNA fragmentation and concentrations of 8-OHdG per 10(5) molecules of deoxyguanosine (rs = 0.7, P < 0.05). The genomic damage evident in spermatozoa of type 1 diabetics may have important implications for their fertility and the outcome of pregnancies fathered by these individuals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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