Cell-free DNA (Cf-DNA) fragments may constitute an easy-to-measure molecular tool for guiding the choice of care provided to infertile couples who benefit assisted reproductive technology (ART) programmes. Data on Cf-DNA levels in the seminal plasma of men with sperm alterations are scarce. The objective of the present study was to quantify the presence of Cf-DNA in semen by using a quantitative real-time PCR. We compared men with abnormal sperm characteristics (n = 21) with normospermic controls (n = 21). The PCR assay evidenced significantly higher mean Cf-DNA levels in patients with sperm abnormalities than in controls (2.09 versus 1.18 µg/ml, respectively; p = .0003). The Cf-DNA levels were notably higher in men with azoospermia (3.65 µg/ml, versus 1.34 µg/ml in matched controls; p = .03) and men with teratozoospermia (1.80 µg/ml, versus 1.29 µg/ml in matched controls; p = .008). Our data report a significant association between elevated Cf-DNA levels and sperm abnormalities. These results may open up new diagnostic and prognostic perspectives in male infertility.
Andrologia. 2020 Oct 11 [Epub ahead of print]
Pierre Di Pizio, Noemie Celton, Pierre Alain Menoud, Stéphanie Belloc, Martine Cohen Bacrie, Naima Belhadri-Mansouri, Nathalie Rives, Rosalie Cabry, Moncef Benkhalifa
Reproductive Medicine & Biology, Amiens University, Amiens, France., Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Unilabs Laboratoire d'Analyses Medicales SA, Genève, Switzerland., Laboratoire CERBA, Laboratoire Lavergne, Saint Ouen l'Aumone, France., Laboratoire Saint Didier, Unilabs Laboratoire Eylau, Ile-de-France, France., Reproductive Biology Laboratory, University Hospital Centre Rouen, Rouen, France.