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The applicability of the flow cytometric sperm chromatin structure assay in epidemiological studies

TitleThe applicability of the flow cytometric sperm chromatin structure assay in epidemiological studies
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsSpanò, M., Kolstad A.H., Larsen S.B., Cordelli Eugenia, Leter Giorgio, Giwercman A., and Bonde J.P.
JournalHuman Reproduction
Keywordsacridine orange, adolescent, adult, article, cell DNA, cell structure, chromatin, chromatin structure, controlled study, demography, Denmark, DNA, DNA denaturation, Flow cytometry, fluorescent dye, human, human cell, Humans, Infertility, leukocyte, lifestyle, male, male fertility, Middle Aged, normal human, Occupational Diseases, occupational hazard, pesticide, semen analysis, sexual behavior, smoking habit, Spermatozoa, spermatozoon density, statistical analysis, styrene

The impact of demographic, lifestyle, and seminal factors on the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) parameters was evaluated in a population of 277 healthy Danish men. This cohort was established within the framework of a European Concerted Action on occupational hazards to male reproductive capability in order to examine the possible reproductive effects of exposure to styrene or pesticides. The SCSA measures the susceptibility of sperm DNA to in-situ acid-induced denaturation, by multi-parameter flow cytometric analysis after staining with the DNA-specific fluorescent dye acridine orange. The green versus red bivariate cytogram patterns were quite variable among donors, showing a wide heterogeneity of sperm DNA denaturability. Nevertheless, in those cases where we had the possibility to measure two semen samples from the same donor, the cytogram pattern remained stable over time (0.64 < r < 0.78). Analysis of variance demonstrated that the SCSA results can be influenced by the age of the donor (P < 0.0001), smoking habits (P < 0.05), the presence of leukocytes and immature germ forms in the ejaculate (P < 0.0001), and the duration of sexual abstinence (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, the relationship between the SCSA data and sperm concentration, morphology, and vitality was weak (-0.22 < r < -0.46). Therefore, the SCSA provides independent and complementary measurements of semen quality and is thus a useful tool for epidemiological studies, but the effects of some confounders should be accounted for in the survey design and analysis.


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Citation KeySpanò19982495