Is sperm telomere length altered in teratozoospermia specimens? A case-control study


Background: Male factor infertility is a multifactorial defect, and many of its etiologies are unknown. Teratozoospermia is determined by the existence of over 85% morphologically abnormal spermatozoa in semen which are almost incompetent in fertilization function. One of the most novel issues in genetic alterations studies is the variation of sperm telomere lengths (STL) and its collaboration with male infertility. The present study has been focused on STL alterations in teratozoospermia.

Objective: Investigation of differences in telomere length of teratozoospermia specimens and sperms with normal parameters.

Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, 60 men referred to Arak Fertility Clinic, Markazi province, Iran from November 2017 to February 2018 were categorized into teratozoospermia and normozoospermic groups. Sperm genomic DNA extraction was conducted, and STL were evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Statistical evaluation of relative telomere length was calculated by the ratio of telomere to single-copy gene for teratozoospermia and normal specimens. Results significantly demonstrated that relative telomere length in teratozoospermia samples is nearly 3 times shorter than in normal samples (p > 0.001).

Conclusion: Our results represent the reduction of telomeres length in teratozoospermia and suggest that this alteration might be one of the factors contributing to the sperm fertility potential of this kind of specimen. However, defining relevant molecular processes requires further detailed investigations.

Key words: Telomere, Teratozoospermia, Sperm, Male infertility.

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