Sperm Aneuploidy and DNA Integrity: A Review

*Rosália Sá,1 Mário Sousa1,2

1. Department of Microscopy, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Multidisciplinary Unit for Biomedical Research, Abel Salazar Institute for the Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
2. Centre for Reproductive Genetics Professor Alberto Barros, Porto, Portugal
*Correspondence to rmsa@icbas.up.pt

Disclosure: UMIB is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) (Pest-OE/SAU/UI0215/2014).
Received: 26.01.15 Accepted: 25.03.15
Citation: EMJ Repro Health. 2015;1[1]:65-73.

Abstract

Male factors leading to infertility account for at least half of all cases of infertility worldwide. The purpose of this review is to highlight the importance of sperm DNA integrity. A systematic literature search was performed up to January 2015 in order to determine the impact of sperm DNA integrity and of the techniques used to determine it. Only articles presenting sperm aneuploidy together with DNA fragmentation studies are discussed. We also discuss several causes and risk factors that have been identified as having detrimental effects on sperm genetic integrity. Aneuploidy and sperm DNA fragmentation (sDNAfrag) analyses show promising results in determining the sperm genetic status. However, more studies must be performed to develop a technique that can simultaneously verify the sperm DNA integrity and haploidy before introduction into routine clinical practice. Once sperm is subjected to the current technologies it cannot be immediately used in assisted reproduction treatments. However, recent studies have shown that an improved protocol of sperm selection can result in sperm with very low levels of sDNAfrag, rendering the risk of selection low.

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