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Fertil Steril. 2014 Jan;101(1):51-57.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.09.001. Epub 2013 Oct 7.

Cigarette smoking is associated with abnormal histone-to-protamine transition in human sperm.

Author information

  • 1Key Laboratory for Major Obstetric Diseases of Guangdong Province, Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou; Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
  • 2Institute of Human Virology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou; Department of Biochemistry, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou; Key Laboratory of Tropical Diseases Control of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
  • 3Institute of Human Virology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou.
  • 4Institute of Human Virology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou; Department of Biochemistry, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou; Key Laboratory of Tropical Diseases Control of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China. Electronic address: hzhaof@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between smoking, semen quality, and the histone-to-protamine transition ratio in mature sperm.

DESIGN:

Biochemical and molecular analysis in human samples and a cell line.

SETTING:

Andrology laboratory in a university-affiliated hospital.

PATIENT(S):

Semen samples from 147 heavy smokers and 175 nonsmokers receiving infertility treatment.

INTERVENTION(S):

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Basic semen parameters, histone-to-protamine ratios, and number of sperm cells with abnormal histone transition were calculated. The relative messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of protamine 1 and protamine 2 were assayed in human sperm and in TM3 cells exposed to cigarette smoke condensate. T tests, Spearman tests, and nonparametric Mann-Whitney U tests were used to detect significant differences.

RESULT(S):

Normozoospermic smokers had significantly higher abnormalities than their nonsmoking counterparts. Sperm histone replacement abnormalities were found to be closely correlated with sperm motility, viability, concentration, counts, and cotinine levels. The ratios of protamine 1 to protamine 2 mRNA expression significantly increased in heavy smokers and in TM3 cells treated with cigarette smoke condensate.

CONCLUSION(S):

Smoking is strongly associated with abnormalities in histone-to-protamine transition and with alteration of protamine mRNA expression in human sperm.

Copyright © 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Smoking; defective spermatogenesis; histone replacement; protamine

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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