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PLoS One. 2019 Feb 11;14(2):e0211837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211837. eCollection 2019.

Adverse effects of paternal obesity on the motile spermatozoa quality.

Author information

1
Azoury-IVF clinic, Mount Lebanon Hospital, Camille Chamoun Boulevard, Beirut, Lebanon.
2
Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences 2, Fanar, Lebanon.
3
INSERM U1065, Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire (C3M), Team 10 "Control of gene expression ", Nice, France and University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Faculty of Medecine, Nice, France.

Abstract

Growing evidence suggests that paternal obesity may decrease male fertility potential. During infertility treatment with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a morphologically normal motile spermatozoon is injected into a mature egg, when possible. However, sperm motility and morphology per se do not reflect the sperm molecular composition. In this study, we aimed to assess the quality of motile spermatozoa in the context of obesity by analysing their conventional and molecular characteristics as well as their ability to promote early embryonic development. A prospective study was conducted on 128 infertile men divided into three groups: 40 lean, 42 overweight, and 46 obese men. Conventional sperm parameters (concentration, motility and morphology) and sperm molecular status (chromatin composition and integrity, 5-methycytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxycytosine (5-hmC) contents and oxidative stress level) were analysed on raw semen and/or on motile spermatozoa selected by density gradient or swim-up techniques. Morphokinetic analysis of the embryos derived from ICSI was performed using the Embryoviewer software. Our results showed that the motile sperm-enriched fraction from obese men exhibited higher levels of retained histones (p<0.001), elevated percentage of altered chromatin integrity (p<0.001), and decreased contents of 5-hmC (p<0.001), and 5-mC (p<0.05) levels as compared to that from lean men. Importantly, there were no statistically significant correlations between these molecular parameters and the percentages of morphologically normal motile spermatozoa. Regarding embryo morphokinetics, the CC1 (p<0.05) and CC3 (p<0.05) embryonic cell cycles were significantly delayed in the cleavage embryos of the obese group as compared to the embryos of the lean group. Our data is of particular interest because, besides demonstrating the negative impacts of obesity on motile spermatozoa molecular composition, it also highlights the possible risk of disturbing early embryonic cell cycles kinetics in the context of paternal obesity.

Conflict of interest statement

"The authors have read the journal's policy and have the following conflicts: Authors GR, JA, KR, and JA are employed by Azoury IVF clinic. This does not alter our adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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