Skip to main content

Sperm morphological abnormalities as indicators of DNA fragmentation and fertilization in ICSI

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the relationship between sperm morphological abnormalities, DNA fragmentation and fertilization rate in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Methods

Sperm samples from 20 ICSI cycles were analysed. Morphology was assessed according to strict criteria, and DNA fragmentation was measured by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated fluorescein-dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) using flow cytometry.

Results

A negative correlation was found between the percentage of spermatozoa with elongated heads and fertilization rate. There was a significant difference in the amount of morphological abnormalities between sperm samples with low and high degree of DNA fragmentation. The percentages of amorphous heads and overall head abnormalities were significantly higher in sperm samples with elevated degree of DNA fragmentation. No correlation was found between sperm DNA fragmentation and fertilization rate.

Conclusions

Head abnormalities, especially amorphous heads, are related to elevated degree of DNA fragmentation. Elongated heads, when detected as predominant abnormal form in sperm samples, may affect fertilization in ICSI.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Svalander P, Jakobsson AH, Forsberg AS, Bengtsson AC, Wikland M (1996) The outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection is unrelated to “strict criteria” sperm morphology. Hum Reprod 11:1019–1022

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Keegan BR, Barton S, Sanchez X, Berkeley AS, Krey LC, Grifo J (2007) Isolated teratozoospermia does not affect in vitro fertilization outcome and is not an indication for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril 88:1583–1588. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.01.057

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Kruger TF, Coetzee K (1999) The role of sperm morphology in assisted reproduction. Hum Reprod Updat 5:172–178. doi:10.1093/humupd/5.2.172

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Van Waart J, Kruger TF, Lombard CJ, Ombelet W (2001) Predictive value of normal sperm morphology in intrauterine insemination (IUI): a structured literature review. Hum Reprod Updat 7:495–500. doi:10.1093/humupd/7.5.495

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Shen HM, Dai J, Chia SE, Lim A, Ong CN (2002) Detection of apoptotic alterations in sperm in subfertile patients and their correlations with sperm quality. Hum Reprod 17:1266–1273. doi:10.1093/humrep/17.5.1266

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Said TM, Agarwal A, Sharma RK, Thomas AJ, Sikka SC (2005) Impact of sperm morphology on DNA damage caused by oxidative stress induced by β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. Fertil Steril 83:95–103. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.06.056

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Benchaib M, Lornage J, Mazoyer C, Lejeune H, Salle B, Guerin JF (2007) Sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation as a prognostic indicator of assisted reproductive technology outcome. Fertil Steril 87:93–100. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.05.057

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Menkveld R, Swanson RJ, Oettle EE, Acosta AA, Kruger TF, Oehninger S (1991) Atlas of human sperm morphology. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  9. Muratori M, Piomboni P, Baldi E, Filimberti E, Pecchioli P, Moretti E et al (2000) Functional and ultrastructural features of DNA-fragmented human sperm. J Androl 21:903–912

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Duran E, Morshedi M, Taylor S, Oehninger S (2002) Sperm DNA quality predicts intrauterine insemination outcome: a prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod 17:3122–3128. doi:10.1093/humrep/17.12.3122

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Seli E, Sakkas D (2005) Spermatozoal nuclear determinants of reproductive outcome: implications for ART. Hum Reprod Updat 11:337–349. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmi011

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Benchaib M, Braun V, Lornage J, Hadj S, Salle B, Lejeune H, Guerin JF (2003) Sperm DNA fragmentation decreases the pregnancy rate in an assisted reproductive technique. Hum Reprod 18:1023–1028. doi:10.1093/humrep/deg228

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Borini A, Tarozzi N, Bizzaro D, Bonu MA, Fava L, Flamigni C, Coticchio G (2006) Sperm DNA fragmentation: paternal effect on early post-implantation embryo development in ART. Hum Reprod 21:2876–2881. doi:10.1093/humrep/del251

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Seli E, Gardner DK, Schoolcraft WB, Moffatt O, Sakkas D (2004) Extent of nuclear DNA damage in ejaculated spermatozoa impacts on blastocyst development after in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril 82:378–383. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2003.12.039

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Tarozzi N, Bizzaro D, Flamigni C, Borini A (2007) Clinical relevance of sperm DNA damage in assisted reproduction. Reprod Biomed Online 14:746–757

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Henkel R, Hajimohammad M, Stalf T, Hoogendijk C, Mehnert C, Menkveld R et al (2004) Influence of deoxyribonucleic acid damage on fertilization and pregnancy. Fertil Steril 81:965–972. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2003.09.044

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Lewis SEM, Aitken RJ (2005) DNA damage to spermatozoa has impacts on fertilization and pregnancy. Cell Tissue Res 322:33–41. doi:10.1007/s00441-005-1097-5

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Zini A, Meriano J, Kader K, Jarvi K, Laskin CA, Cadesky K (2005) Potential adverse effect of sperm DNA damage on embryo quality after ICSI. Hum Reprod 20:3476–3480. doi:10.1093/humrep/dei266

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Sun JG, Jurisiceva A, Casper RF (1997) Detection of deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation in human sperm: correlation with fertilization in vitro. Biol Reprod 56:602–607. doi:10.1095/biolreprod56.3.602

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Lopes S, Sun JG, Jurisicova A, Meriano J, Casper RF (1998) Sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation is increased in poor-quality semen samples and correlates with failed fertilization in intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril 69:528–532. doi:10.1016/S0015-0282(97)00536-0

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Cebesoy FB, Aydos K, Unlu C (2006) Effects of sperm chromatin damage on fertilization ratio and embryo quality post-ICSI. Arch Androl 52:397–402. doi:10.1080/01485010600666953

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. World Health Organization (1999) WHO laboratory manual for the examination of human semen and sperm-cervical mucus interaction, 4th edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  23. Lopes S, Jurisicova A, Casper RF (1998) Gamete-specific DNA fragmentation in unfertilized human oocytes after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Hum Reprod 13:703–708. doi:10.1093/humrep/13.3.703

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Nasr-Esfahani MH, Razavi S, Tavalaee M (2008) Failed fertilization after ICSI and spermiogenic defects. Fertil Steril 89:892–898. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.04.012

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Bartoov B, Berkovitz A, Eltes F, Kogosowski A, Menezo Y, Barak Y (2002) Real-time fine morphology of motile human sperm cells is associated with IVF-ICSI outcome. J Androl 23:1–8

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Berkovitz A, Eltes F, Yaari S, Katz N, Barr I, Fishman A, Bartoov B (2005) The morphological normalcy of the sperm nucleus and pregnancy rate of intracytoplasmic injection with morphologically selected sperm. Hum Reprod 20:185–190. doi:10.1093/humrep/deh545

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Tasdemir I, Tasdemir M, Tavukcuoglu S, Kahraman S, Biberoglu K (1997) Effect of abnormal sperm head morphology on the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection in humans. Hum Reprod 12:1214–1217. doi:10.1093/humrep/12.6.1214

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Prisant N, Escalier D, Soufir J-C, Morillon M, Schoevaert D, Misrahi M, Tachdjian G (2007) Ultrastructural nuclear defects and increased chromosome aneuploidies in spermatozoa with elongated heads. Hum Reprod 22:1052–1059. doi:10.1093/humrep/del481

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Osawa Y, Sueoka K, Iwata S, Shinohara M, Kobayashi N, Kuji N, Yoshimura Y (1999) Assessment of the dominant abnormal form is useful for predicting the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection in the case of severe teratozoospermia. J Assist Reprod Genet 16:436–442. doi:10.1023/A:1020573609836

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Huang CC, Lin DPC, Tsao HM, Cheng TC, Liu CH, Lee MS (2005) Sperm DNA fragmentation negatively correlates with velocity and fertilization rates but might not affect pregnancy rates. Fertil Steril 84:130–140. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.08.042

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Varum S, Bento C, Sousa APM, Gomes-Santos CSS, Henriques P, Almeida-Santos T et al (2007) Characterization of human sperm populations using conventional parameters, surface ubiquitination, and apoptotic markers. Fertil Steril 87:572–583. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.07.1528

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Vicari E, De Palma A, Burrello N, Longo G, Grazioso C, Barone N et al (2003) Absolute polymorphic teratozoospermia in patients with oligo-asthenozoospermia is associated with an elevated sperm aneuploidy rate. J Androl 24:598–603

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Calogero AE, Burrello N, De Palma A, Barone N, D’Agata R, Vicari E (2003) Sperm aneuploidy in infertile men. Reprod Biomed Online 6:310–317

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Ahmadi A, Ng SC (1999) Fertilizing ability of DNA-damaged spermatozoa. J Exp Zool 284:696–704. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(19991101)284:6<696::AID-JEZ11>3.0.CO;2-E

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Barbara Dariš.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dariš, B., Goropevšek, A., Hojnik, N. et al. Sperm morphological abnormalities as indicators of DNA fragmentation and fertilization in ICSI. Arch Gynecol Obstet 281, 363–367 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-009-1140-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-009-1140-y

Keywords

  • Sperm morphology
  • DNA fragmentation
  • Fertilization
  • ICSI