Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Fertil Steril. 2000 Aug;74(2):245-50.

Measuring apoptosis in human spermatozoa: a biological assay for semen quality?

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital Group, Enschade, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

[1] To determine whether apoptosis can be measured in ejaculated spermatozoa by flow cytometry using the Annexin V assay, which measures expression of phosphatidylserine on the outer leaflet of the cell membrane, or the TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP [deoxy-uridine triphosphate] nick end labeling) assay, which measures occurrence of DNA strand breaks and [2] to correlate the outcome with routine semen variables and the hypoosmotic swelling (HOS) test.

DESIGN:

Pilot study and clinical trial.

SETTING:

Large teaching hospital and fertility center.

PATIENT(S):

Men whose semen was studied for various reasons.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Percentage of apoptotic spermatozoa by two different assays, percentage of necrotic spermatozoa, concentration and motility of spermatozoa, and outcome of the HOS test.

RESULT(S):

Apoptosis can be measured in spermatozoa by flow cytometry using the Annexin V assay and the TUNEL assay. Twenty percent of spermatozoa were apoptotic according to both assays. A significant inverse correlation was seen between phosphatidylserine expression (Annexin V assay) and sperm concentration (r = -0.389; P<.05) and motility (r = -0.289; P<.05). A highly significant inverse correlation was seen between DNA double-strand breaks (TUNEL assay) and sperm concentration (r = -0.629; P<.0001).

CONCLUSION(S):

Flow cytometry can easily and reliably detect phosphatidylserine expression on the outer leaflet of the cell membrane and DNA strand breaks, both of which are hallmarks of apoptosis. About 20% of ejaculated spermatozoa are apoptotic, and the concentration of spermatozoa is lower in men with more apoptotic spermatozoa.

PMID:
10927039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center