Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25755112
Andrology 2015 Mar;3(2):235-40
Sperm DNA methylation abnormalities have been detected in oligozoospermic men. However, the association between sperm DNA methylation defects, sperm parameters and sperm DNA, and chromatin integrity remains poorly understood. This study was designed to clarify this issue. We recruited a cohort of 92 men (62 normozoospermic and 30 oligoasthenozoospermic) presenting for infertility evaluation during a 1-year period. Sperm global DNA methylation was evaluated by an ELISA-like method, DNA fragmentation was evaluated by flow cytometry-based terminal transferase dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay (reported as DNA fragmentation index or DFI), and sperm denaturation was evaluated by aniline blue staining (reported as sperm denaturation index or SDI, a marker of chromatin compaction). We found a significant positive association between sperm global DNA methylation level and conventional sperm parameters (sperm concentration and motility), supported by the results of methylation analysis on H19-DMR. We also identified significant inverse relationships between sperm global DNA methylation, and, both DFI and SDI. However, sperm global DNA methylation level was not related to sperm vitality or morphology. Our findings suggest that global sperm DNA methylation levels are related to conventional sperm parameters, as well as, sperm chromatin and DNA integrity.