The significance of sperm DNA oxidation in embryo development and reproductive outcome in an oocyte donation program: a new model to study a male infertility prognostic factor

Meseguer, M, Martinez-Conejero, J A, O'Connor, J E, Pellicer, A, Remohi, J, Garrido, N,
Fertil Steril. May. 2008 doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.05.005


OBJECTIVE: One byproduct resulting from free radical damage is the DNA hydroxylation also known as DNA oxidation. Our aim with this work was to determine the relevance of sperm DNA oxidation on embryo quality in oocyte donation cycles. DESIGN: We prospectively studied pairs of oocyte donation cycles, i.e., the same oocyte donors, donating to two recipients, where the only difference between the two treatments was the use of a different sperm sample. SETTING: University-affiliated private IVF setting. PATIENT(S): Infertile male partners from couples undergoing oocyte donation cycles (n = 38): 76 semen aliquots analyzed before and after semen processing by swim up. INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): We measured sperm DNA oxidation by flow cytometry using the OxiDNA assay and correlated it with embryo quality parameters, implantation, and pregnancy outcome. RESULT(S): A positive correlation was seen between embryo fragmentation and DNA oxidation of capacitated samples at 48 hours and 72 hours after fertilization. However, when we analyzed the differences in the IVF outcome parameters of the couples who shared the oocyte cohort (same donor) with the differences in the OxiDNA values, we observed increased and further relationships with cell embryo division 48 hours after fertilization. A negative association with blastocyst formation was also detected. CONCLUSION(S): Oxidative damage in the DNA is clearly increased in samples with lower sperm motility. An association between early and late embryo quality and sperm DNA oxidation supports the relevance of the hydroxylation of 8-oxoguanine as a biomarker of sperm quality reflecting the free radical damage in human sperm.