Large nuclear vacuoles are indicative of abnormal chromatin packaging in human spermatozoa

Authors

  • J. G. Franco Jr,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
    3. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Brazil
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  • A. L. Mauri,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
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  • C. G. Petersen,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
    3. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Brazil
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  • F. C. Massaro,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
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  • L. F. I. Silva,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Brazil
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  • V. Felipe,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
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  • M. Cavagna,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
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  • A. Pontes,

    1. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Brazil
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  • R. L. R. Baruffi,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
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  • J. B. A. Oliveira,

    1. Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto
    2. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
    3. Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu, Brazil
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  • L. D. Vagnini

    1. Paulista Centre for Diagnosis, Research and Training, Ribeirão Preto
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J. G. Franco, Centre for Human Reproduction Prof. Franco Junior, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. E-mail: crh@crh.com.br

Summary

The aim of this investigation was to determine the presence of abnormal sperm chromatin packaging in spermatozoa with large nuclear vacuoles (LNV) selected via high magnification by analysing the pattern of chromomycin A3 (CMA3) staining. A prospective observational study was designed to analyse semen samples obtained from 66 men undergoing infertility diagnosis and treatment. The numbers of cells with normal (dull yellow staining of the sperm head/CMA3-negative) and abnormal (bright yellow fluorescence of the sperm head/CMA3-positive) chromatin packaging were determined on slides with normal and LNV spermatozoa. The presence of bright yellow fluorescence (CMA3-positive) was significantly higher (< 0.0001) in spermatozoa with LNV than in normal spermatozoa (719/1351; 53.2% vs. 337/835; 40.3%, respectively), reflecting a higher percentage of abnormal chromatin packaging in spermatozoa with large LNV. Our data support the hypothesis that the presence of LNV reflects the presence of abnormal chromatin packaging, which may facilitate sperm DNA damage. As sperm nuclear vacuoles are evaluated more precisely at high magnifications using motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME), the present results support the use of high-magnification sperm selection for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

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