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Fertil Steril. 2008 Aug;90(2):322-7. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

The role of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp 70) in male infertility: is it a line of defense against sperm DNA fragmentation?

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Istanbul Medical Faculty, University of Istanbul, Capa, Istanbul, Turkey. gul_erata@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To clarify the role of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp 70) and its relation with DNA damage in male infertility.

DESIGN:

Prospective study.

SETTING:

Andrology laboratory of Istanbul Medical Faculty.

PATIENT(S):

Semen samples from 37 infertile men and 13 fertile men (as controls).

INTERVENTION(S):

The percentage of DNA fragmentation was assayed with the use of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL). Sperm Hsp 70 expression was determined by using Western blot analysis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Both the percentages of sperm DNA fragmentation and Hsp 70 expression were correlated with semen analysis parameters.

RESULTS:

TUNEL-positive spermatozoa in the infertile group (18.7% for asthenospermics and 13.0% for oligoasthenospermics) were higher than the fertile group (4.9%). Significant inverse correlations were detected between percentage of TUNEL-positive cells and both concentration (r = -0.487) and motility (r = -0.377) of spermatozoa. No expression of Hsp 70 was observed in azospermic group, whereas Hsp 70 levels were found increased significantly in infertile group (U = 62 for asthenospermics and U = 38 for oligoasthenospermics) compared to fertile group as analyzed by using Mann-Whitney U Wilcoxon rank sum test. Furthermore, significant positive correlation was found between percentage of TUNEL-positive cells and Hsp 70 expression (r = 0.357).

CONCLUSION(S):

Hsp 70 expression may have been increased as a protective mechanism against apoptosis in spermatozoa of infertile men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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