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Telomere Distribution in Human Sperm Heads and Its Relation to Sperm Nuclear Morphology: A New Marker for Male Factor Infertility?

Turner, Kara J and Watson, Eleanor M and Skinner, Benjamin M and Griffin, Darren K (2021) 'Telomere Distribution in Human Sperm Heads and Its Relation to Sperm Nuclear Morphology: A New Marker for Male Factor Infertility?' International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22 (14). ISSN 1422-0067

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Abstract

Infertility is a problem affecting an increasing number of couples worldwide. Currently, marker tests for male factor infertility are complex, highly technical and relatively subjective. Up to 40% of cases of male factor infertility are currently diagnosed as idiopathic therefore, there is a clear need for further research into better ways of diagnosing it. Changes in sperm telomere length have been associated with infertility and closely linked to DNA damage and fragmentation, which are also known to be related to infertility. However, telomere distribution is a parameter thus far underexplored as an infertility marker. Here, we assessed morphological parameters of sperm nuclei in fertile control and male factor infertile cohorts. In addition, we used 2D and 3D fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to compare telomere distribution between these two groups. Our findings indicate that the infertile cohort sperm nuclei were, on average, 2.9% larger in area and showed subtle differences in sperm head height and width. Telomeres were mainly distributed towards the periphery of the nuclei in the control cohort, with diminishing telomere signals towards the center of the nuclei. Sperm nuclei of infertile males, however, had more telomere signals towards the center of the nuclei, a finding supported by 3D imaging. We conclude that, with further development, both morphology and telomere distribution may prove useful investigative tools in the fertility clinic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: telomere; sperm; nuclear organization; nuclear morphology; infertility
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2021 08:58
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2021 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30736

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