Relationship Between Standard Semen Parameters, Calcium, Cholesterol Contents, and Mitochondrial Activity in Ejaculated Spermatozoa From Fertile and Infertile Males
Purpose: To correlate levels of cholesterol (CH), calcium (Ca2+), and mitochondrial activity (MA) with the standard semen parameters and to compare them between fertile and infertile men.
Methods: We studied 151 semen samples from infertile (n=60) or fertile (n=91) males. Basic sperm parameters were analyzed. Ca2+ and CH concentrations on seminal plasma were determined by enzymoimmunoanalysis. Intracellular Ca2+ and CH concentrations in the sperm plasma membrane and mitochondrial activity by fluorometry.
Results: There was a significant positive correlation between sperm membrane CH and sperm morphology. Intracellular Ca2+ was lower in infertile patients compared to fertile. No differences were found regarding Ca2+ and CH concentrations in seminal plasma. MA is directly and strongly related with sperm motility.
Conclusions: Intracellular concentrations of Ca2+ and the proportion of CH in the sperm membrane are two important markers of the sperm quality due to its direct relationship with sperm morphology and fertility potential.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- WHO laboratory Manual for the examination of human semen and sperm-cervical mucus interaction. World Health Organization, United Kingdom, Cambridge, 1999Google Scholar
- Cross L: Role of cholesterol in sperm capacitation. Biol Reprod 1998;59:7–11Google Scholar
- Davis BK: Inhibition of fertilizing capacity in mammalian spermatozoa by natural and synthetic vesicles. In Symposium on the Pharmacological Effects of Lipids, JJ Kabara (ed), Champaign, IL, The American Oil Chemists Society, 1978; pp. 145–157Google Scholar
- Vignon F, Clavert A, Cranz C, Koll-Back MH, Reville P: Alterations in the lipid composition of seminal plasma patients with a chronic infection of the urogenital tract. Urol Int 1993;50(1):36–38Google Scholar
- Sugkraroaek P, Kates M, Leader A, Tanphaichitr N: Levels of cholesterol and phospholipids in freshly ejaculated sperm and Percoll-gradient pelleted sperm from fertile and unexplained infertile men. Fertil Steril 1991;55(4):820–827Google Scholar
- Suarez SS: Hyperactivated motility in sperm. J Androl 1996;17(4):331–335Google Scholar
- Shimizu Y, Nord EP, Bronson RA: Progesterone-evoked increases in sperm Ca2+ correlate with the egg penetrating ability of sperm from fertile but not infertile men. Fertil Steril 1993;60(3):526–532Google Scholar
- Garner DL, Thamas CA, Joerg HW, et al: Fluorometric assessments of mitochondrial function and viability in cryopreserved bovine spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 1997;57:1401–1406Google Scholar
- Roeschlau P, Bernt E, Gruber W: Enzymatic determination of total cholesterol in serum. Z Klin Chem Klin Biochem 1974;12: 226Google Scholar