a1 IDF Centre, Piazza Municipio 4, 80138 Napoli, Italy.
a2 IDF Centre, Piazza Municipio 4, 80138- Napoli, Italy.
The integrity of sperm chromatin structure has proven to be of great importance for human fertility. In this study, we investigated whether sperm cryopreservation has an effect on nuclear DNA tertiary structure, (i.e. condensation), measured by aniline blue staining, in 103 male patients who required consultation for hypo-fertility. Sperm DNA damage was significantly higher in patients showing oligospermia and severe morphological abnormalities than in native sperm populations. Furthermore we observed that chromatin decondensation was related to the cryostorage technique and to the duration of storage. This increase in decondensation was highly significant (P < 0.01) immediately after cryopreservation and from 90 days of cryostorage onwards. The possible mechanisms involved in sperm chromatin cryoinjury and the need to incorporate new methods for testing sperm nuclear structure alteration into the routine spermiogram are discussed.
(Received April 18 2011)
(Accepted December 08 2011)