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Korean Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2009;36(1):35-43.
Published online March 1, 2009.
Seminal Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Level and Sperm Nuclear DNA Integrity in Healthy Donors.
Hyun Jun Kim, Byung Chul Jee, Jeong Hee Moon, Jung Ryeol Lee, Chang Suk Suh, Seok Hyun Kim
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Chungju, Korea.
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
OBJECTIVES: Seminal concentration of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) relevant to sperm nuclear DNA integrity has not been studied. The present study aimed to evaluate seminal concentration of TNF-alpha in correlation with sperm parameters and nuclear DNA integrity in asymptomatic healthy donors. METHODS: Semen samples were obtained by masturbation from forty-five healthy donors. RESULTS: Sperm quality was assessed by computer-assisted semen analysis and nuclear DNA integrity measured by the TUNEL assay in raw semen. TNF-alpha concentrations were measured by ELISA in frozen-thawed seminal plasmas. Sperm DNA fragmentation rates were ranged between 1.9% and 53.0% (mean+/-SD, 12.4+/-9.6%). Univariate analysis revealed that DNA fragmentation rate was not associated with sperm concentration or motility but had a correlation with linearity negatively (r=-0.325, p=0.03) and age positively (r=0.484, p=0.001). The mean seminal concentration of TNF-alpha was 4.9 pg/mL with a range from 1.1 to 22.6 pg/mL. The TNF-alpha concentration had no correlation with clinically relevant parameters of sperm quality or nuclear DNA fragmentation rate. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation may be not associated with seminal TNF-alpha level or sperm quality in asymptomatic healthy donors.
Key Words: Sperm; Nuclear integrity; DNA fragmentation; TUNEL; Tumor necrosis factor-alpha


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