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Acta Biochim Pol. 2003;50(1):197-203.

High levels of bulky DNA adducts in human sperm correlate with impaired fertility.

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Clinical Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Silesian Medical Academy, Bytom, Poland.


Progressive decline in fertility and sperm quality has been reported over the last few decades, especially in industrialized nations. It has been proposed that exposure to factors that induce damage in DNA of spermatogenic cells may significantly contribute to impaired fertility. Here, the (32)P-postlabelling method was used to analyze the levels of bulky DNA adducts in sperm cells in a group of 179 volunteers, either healthy subjects or patients with an impaired fertility. The levels of DNA adducts were 1.35-fold higher in the infertile group as compared to healthy individuals (P = 0.012). Similarly, a significant negative correlation between the levels of DNA adducts and measures of semen quality (sperm concentration and motility) has been observed (P <or= 0.001). In addition, the levels of bulky DNA adducts in sperm cells positively correlates with amounts of leukocytes in semen, which were significantly higher in semen of infertile subjects.

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