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Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 188, Issue 2, pp 251–260 | Cite as

Human Sperm Characteristics with Regard to Cobalt, Chromium, and Lead in Semen and Activity of Catalase in Seminal Plasma

  • Urszula Marzec-Wróblewska
  • Piotr KamińskiEmail author
  • Paweł Łakota
  • Marek Szymański
  • Karolina Wasilow
  • Grzegorz Ludwikowski
  • Leszek Jerzak
  • Tomasz Stuczyński
  • Alina Woźniak
  • Adam Buciński
Article
  • 165 Downloads

Abstract

We analyzed cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), and lead (Pb) concentrations in human semen and catalase CAT activity in seminal plasma and the effects of their relations on the sperm quality. We obtained semen samples from men (n = 168) undergoing routine infertility evaluation. Studies included two groups based on the ejaculate parameters: I (n = 39; normal ejaculate; normozoospermia); II (n = 129; pathological spermiogram). We examined relationships and differences between Co, Cr, and Pb concentrations in seminal plasma, CAT activity, and semen parameters. We did not establish differences in Co, Cr, and Pb concentrations and CAT activity from men between normozoospermic and those with pathological spermiogram. We found a significantly lower Co concentration and CAT activity in males with normal sperm motility than in asthenozoospermic males. We found significantly lower Co and a higher Pb concentration in males with normal morphology of spermatozoa than in teratozoospermic males. We found a significantly higher Pb concentration in the individuals with consumption of alcohol than in those without consumption. There were significant correlations between Co and Pb concentrations, sperm progressive motility (A + B, i.e., fast and slow progressive motility; Co—negatively; Pb—positively), and normal morphology of spermatozoa (Co—negatively; Pb—positively). We found a significant negative correlation between Cr concentration and slow progressive motility, and between CAT activity and volume of ejaculate. Co, Cr, and Pb levels and CAT activity were related to sperm characteristics and male fertility. The impact of alcohol may be manifested by a disturbance in Pb equilibrium in the body. Co and Pb influence progressive motility and normal morphology of human spermatozoa. Thus, Co and Pb levels in semen may be a useful diagnostic in male infertility. Most of the results of this study are in contrast to expectations. Namely, Pb is a toxic element and its harmful effects (poor semen quality) may be expected already at relatively low level of Pb exposure and are particularly visible with increasing of Pb. Co and Cr(III) are essential elements and harmful effects may be expected at their deficiency and/or overexposure.

Keywords

Male infertility Seminal plasma Cobalt Chromium Lead Catalase Semen parameters 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Professor Brendan P. Kavanagh (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) for his help with improving English language of the paper.

Funding Information

This work was supported by grant number 47-2008 from the Rector Magnificus of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. This work was supported by the European Social Fund and State budget within the framework of the Integrated Program of Operating Regional Development, the Activity 2.6 “Regional Innovative Strategies and Knowledge Transfer” of individual project of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province: “Scholarships for Graduate Students of 2008/2009–ZPORR.” This work was also supported by maintain a research capacities fund from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (DS-UPB 469/2015).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study was undertaken following the Guidelines of the European Union Council and the current laws in Poland, according to the Bioethical Commission (05/2005). The work acquired the permission of the Local Bioethics Committee for Bioethical Research of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Poland (application number KB/538/2007). The participants in the study signed an informed consent form.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urszula Marzec-Wróblewska
    • 1
    • 2
  • Piotr Kamiński
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Paweł Łakota
    • 4
  • Marek Szymański
    • 5
    • 6
  • Karolina Wasilow
    • 6
    • 7
  • Grzegorz Ludwikowski
    • 8
  • Leszek Jerzak
    • 9
  • Tomasz Stuczyński
    • 10
  • Alina Woźniak
    • 11
  • Adam Buciński
    • 2
  1. 1.Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical and Biochemical Biology, Department of Ecology and Environmental ProtectionNicolaus Copernicus University in ToruńBydgoszczPoland
  2. 2.Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chair and Department of BiopharmacyNicolaus Copernicus University in ToruńBydgoszczPoland
  3. 3.Faculty of Biological Sciences, Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of Zielona GóraZielona GóraPoland
  4. 4.Faculty of Animal Biology, Department of Animal BiotechnologyUniversity of Technology and Life SciencesBydgoszczPoland
  5. 5.Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital No. 2, Department of Obstetrics, Female Pathology and Oncological GynecologyNicolaus Copernicus University in ToruńBydgoszczPoland
  6. 6.NZOZ Medical Center Co. Prof. dr. hab. med. Wiesław Szymański, Dr. hab. med. Marek SzymańskiBydgoszczPoland
  7. 7.Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital No. 2, Family Medicine ClinicNicolaus Copernicus University in ToruńBydgoszczPoland
  8. 8.Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital No. 2, Department of Clinical AndrologyNicolaus Copernicus University in ToruńBydgoszczPoland
  9. 9.Faculty of Biological Sciences, Department of Nature ProtectionUniversity of Zielona GóraZielona GóraPoland
  10. 10.Faculty of Mathematics Informatics and Landscape ArchitectureThe John Paul II Catholic University of LublinLublinPoland
  11. 11.Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Department of Medical and Biochemical BiologyNicolaus Copernicus UniversityBydgoszczPoland

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