Advertisement

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 27, Issue 9–10, pp 533–538 | Cite as

Seminal plasma homocysteine, folate and cobalamin in men with obstructive and non-obstructive azoospermia

  • Igor CrhaEmail author
  • Michaela Kralikova
  • Jitka Melounova
  • Pavel Ventruba
  • Jana Zakova
  • Rastislav Beharka
  • Richard Husicka
  • Michal Pohanka
  • Martin Huser
Gonadal Physiology and Disease

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to analyze homocysteine, folate and cobalamin in men with normozoospermia, obstructive and non-obstructive azoospermia.

Methods

Analysis of plasma and seminal plasma homocysteine, folate and cobalamin in 72 azoospermic and 62 normozoospermic men. Evaluation of the azoospermic patient included testicular biopsy, endocrine, urological and ultrasound examination.

Results

Homocysteine (1.2 μmol/l) and cobalamin (322.05 pmol/l) concentrations (median values) in seminal plasma were significantly lower (p < 0.001) in men with azoospermia than in men with normozoospermia (2.5 μmol/l and 579.0 pmol/l). Folate and cobalamin concentrations were significantly higher in obstructive than in non-obstructive azoospermia. Significant correlations were determined between testis volume and seminal plasma homocysteine in azoospermic men.

Conclusion

Lower concentrations of homocysteine and cobalamin (but not folate) were found in azoospermic seminal plasma than normozoospermic. Folate and cobalamin were higher in seminal plasma from obstructive azoospermia than in non-obstructive azoospermia patients.

Keywords

Azoospermia Cobalamin Folate Homocysteine Spermatogenesis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Internal Grant Agency (IGA) of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic-No. NS/9661.

References

  1. 1.
    Refsum H, Smith AD, Ueland PM, Nexo E, Clarke R, McPartlin J, et al. Facts and recommendations about total homocysteine determinations: an expert opinion. Clin Chem. 2004;50:3–32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ebisch IMW, Peters WHM, Thomas CMG, Wetzels AMM, Peer PGM, Steegers-Theunissen RPM. Homocysteine, glutathione and related thiols affect fertility parameters in the (sub)fertile couple. Hum Reprod. 2006;21:1725–33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pacchiarotti A, Mohamed MA, Micara G, Linari A, Tranquilli D, Espinola SB, et al. The possible role of hyperhomocysteinemia on IVF outcome. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2007;24:459–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lewis SE, Sterling ES, Young IS, Thompson W. Comparison of individual antioxidants of sperm and seminal plasma in fertile and infertile men. Fertil Steril. 1997;67:142–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boxmeer JC, Smit M, Weber RF, Lindemans J, Romijn JC, Eijkemans MJ, et al. Seminal plasma cobalamin significantly correlates with sperm concentration in men undergoing IVF or ICSI procedures. J Androl. 2007;28:521–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boxmeer JC, Smit M, Utomo E, Romijn JC, Eijkemans MJ, Lindemans J, et al. Low folate in seminal plasma is associated with increased sperm DNA damage. Fertil Steril. 2009;92:548–56.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wallock LM, Tamura T, Mayr CA, Johnston KE, Ames BN, Jacob RA. Low seminal plasma folate concentrations are associated with low sperm density and count in male smokers and nonsmokers. Fertil Steril. 2001;75(2):252–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Forges T, Monnier-Barbarion P, Alberto JM, Guécant-Rodriguez RM, Daval JL, Guéant JL. Impact of folate and homocysteine metabolism on human reproductive health. Hum Reprod Update. 2007;13:225–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Holstein AF, Schulze W, Davidoff M. Understanding spermatogenesis is a prerequisite for treatment. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2003;1:107–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tunc O, Tremellen K. Oxidative DNA damage impairs global sperm DNA methylation in infertile men. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2009;26:537–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Garrido N, Messeguer M, Alvarez J, Simon C, Pellicer A, Remohi J. Relationship among standard semen parameters, glutathione peroxidase/glutathione reductase activity, and mRNA expression and reduced glutathione content in ejaculated spermatozoa from fertile and infertile men. Fertil Steril. 2004;82(Suppl3):1059–66.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wong WY, Thomas CMG, Merkus JMWM, Zielhuis GA, Steegers-Theunissen RPM. Male factor subfertility: possible causes and the impact of nutritional factors. Fertil Steril. 2000;73:435–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    World Health Organization. Laboratory Manual for the Examination of Human Semen and Sperm-Cervical Mucus Interaction. 4th edn. Cambridge University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Evaluation of the azoospermic male. Fertil Steril. 2008;90 Suppl 3:S74–7.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dogra VS, Gottlieb RH, Oka M, Rubens DJ. Sonography of the scrotum. Radiology. 2003;227:18–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Report on varicocele and infertility. Fertil Steril. 2008;90 Suppl 5:S247–9.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee J, Binsaleh S, Lo K, Jarvi K. Varicoceles: diagnostic dilemma. J Androl. 2008;29:143–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tamura T, Picciano MF. Folate and human reproduction. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83:993–1016.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wong WY, Merkus HM, Thomas CM, Menkveld R, Zielhuis GA, Steegers-Theunissen RPM. Effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Fertil Steril. 2002;77:491–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Holm J, Hansen SI, Hoier-Madsen M, Christensen TB, Nichols CW. Characterization of a high-affinity folate receptor in normal and malignant human testicular tissue. Biosci Rep. 1999;19:571–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Chen Z, Karaplis AC, Ackerman SL, Pogribny IP, Melnyk S, Lussier-Cacan S, et al. Mice deficient in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase exhibit hyperhomocysteinemia and decreased methylation capacity, with neuropathoplogy and aortic lipid deposition. Hum Mol Genet. 2001;10:433–43.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nieschlag E, Behre HM, editors. Andrology. Male reproductive health and dysfunction. 2nd ed. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag; 2001.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cocuzza M, Athayde KS, Agarwal A, Pagani R, Sikka SC, Lucon AM, et al. Impact of clinical varicocele and testis size on seminal reactive oxygen species levels in a fertile population: a prospective controlled study. Fertil Steril. 2008;90:1103–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Paduch DA, Skoog SJ. Current management of adolescent varicocele. Rev Urol. 2001;3:120–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pront R, Margalioth EJ, Green R, Eldar-Geva T, Maimoni Z, Zimran A, et al. Prevalence of low serum cobalamin in infertile couples. Andrologia. 2009;4:46–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Crha
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michaela Kralikova
    • 2
  • Jitka Melounova
    • 2
  • Pavel Ventruba
    • 1
  • Jana Zakova
    • 1
  • Rastislav Beharka
    • 3
    • 4
  • Richard Husicka
    • 1
  • Michal Pohanka
    • 5
  • Martin Huser
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of MedicineMasaryk University, and Faculty HospitalBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Urology, Faculty of MedicineMasaryk University and Faculty Hospital BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Medical GeneticsFaculty Hospital BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  5. 5.Department of Functional Diagnostics and RehabilitationSt. Anne’s Faculty Hospital BrnoBrnoCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations