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Int J Stem Cells. 2019 Nov 30;12(3):388-399. doi: 10.15283/ijsc19047.

Improvement of Human Sperm Vacuolization and DNA Fragmentation Co-Cultured with Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Secretome: In Vitro Effect.

Author information

Regenerative Medicine and Inflammation Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.
Faculty of Public Health II, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
OB-GYN Department, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VI, USA.
Neuroscience Research Science, Faculty of Medicine, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon.


Background and Objectives:

Oxidative stress (OS) is known to be an important factor of male infertility. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) are known to have immune-modulatory and anti-oxidant effects through their secretions, hence raising the idea of their potential benefit to improve sperm parameters. This study aims at investigating the effect of AD-MSCs conditioned medium (CM) on human sperm parameters in the presence and absence of H2O2-induced OS.

Methods and Results:

Sperm samples were collected from 30 healthy men and divided into two groups: non-stressed and H2O2-stressed. Isolated AD-MSCs from healthy donors undergoing liposuction were cultured and CM was collected at 24, 48 and 72 h. Both sperm groups were cultured with CM and a time course was performed followed by an evaluation of sperm parameters. The incubation of non-stressed and stressed sperm samples with AD-MSCs-CM for 24 h was found to have the optimum impact on sperm vacuolization, DNA fragmentation and OS levels in comparison to other incubation timings, while preserving motility, viability and morphology of cells. Incubation with CM improved all sperm parameters except morphology in comparison to the non-treated group, with the best effect noted with CM collected at 24 h rather than 48 or 72 h for sperm vacuolization and DNA fragmentation. When compared to fresh semen parameters (T0), samples cultured with CM 24 h showed a significant decrease in sperm vacuolization and DNA fragmentation while keeping other parameters stable.


AD-MSCSs-CM improves sperm quality, and hence can be used in treating infertility and subsequently enhancing IVF outcomes.


Conditioned medium; Male infertility; Mesenchymal stem cells; Oxidative stress; Sperm

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