Systems biology in reproductive medicine

Description

  • Impact factor
    1.85
  • 5-year impact
    0.80
  • Cited half-life
    0.00
  • Immediacy index
    0.00
  • Eigenfactor
    0.00
  • Article influence
    0.20
  • Other titles
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine (Online), Systems biology in reproductive medicine, SBiRM
  • ISSN
    1939-6376
  • OCLC
    166289315
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract The ovary is not only involved in female germ cell development and maturation, but also adjusts female endocrinology. Its function is severely impaired during chemotherapy, and premature ovarian failure may be induced. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has displayed significant potential in the treatment of female endocrine disorders; however, it is unknown whether it can recover ovarian function impaired by chemotherapy. In the present study, CHM was used to treat rat models of ovarian dysfunction impaired by chemotherapeutic drugs. Three groups were included in this study: a prevention group, a treatment group, and a prevention-treatment group. Routine gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) treatment was used as a control. The results showed that body weight, fertility, estrus days, hormone levels, and ovary weight were restored when CHM was administered in these rat models. Moreover, in the prevention-treatment group, the number of follicles at each developmental stage significantly increased compared with the prevention or treatment group. Furthermore, the number of apoptotic cells significantly decreased, and the relative mRNA expression of caspase-3 significantly decreased, in the prevention-treatment group. The results of gene expression analysis indicated that the expression of anti-Müllerianhormone (AMH) which indicates ovarian preservation was significantly up-regulated in the prevention-treatment group and was similar to normal rats. The expression of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) was significantly enhanced in both the prevention-treatment group and the GnRHa group, which suggested that the oocytes were of better quality. Finally, we found that there were no differences in body weight and fertility in the offspring conceived by the drug-treated rats, which partly indicated the safety of the medicine. In conclusion, Chinese herbal medicine showed a beneficial role in the recovery of ovary function in these rat models and has significant potential in the clinic.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Presented is the case report of a patient noted to have gross distortion of the internal cervical canal during her attempt at embryo transfer following an in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI) procedure. Multiple attempts at cervical dilation were unsuccessful and the patient was ultimately treated by transmyometrial embryo transfer also known as the Towako method. She successfully achieved a singleton pregnancy and delivered at 41 weeks by primary cesarean section because of arrest of cervical dilation. Transmyometrial embryo transfer represents a viable option for patients with cervical stenosis refractory to conventional methods of navigation or severe anatomical distortion of the internal cervical canal.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The aims of the study were to evaluate the effects of chocolate and propolis-enriched diets on rabbit spermatogenesis, sperm motility, and ultrastructure following bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment. Thirty-two New Zealand White rabbits were divided into four groups. The LPS-Propolfenol® group received propolis (500 mg/kg/day) in their diet for 15 days, while the LPS-chocolate group was fed 70% cacao chocolate (1 g/1 kg/day) for the same period. Following the diet treatments, rabbits in the LPS-Propolfenol® and LPS-chocolate groups, and an LPS group received a single intraperitoneal dose of 50μg/kg LPS, and the control group received only saline. Kinematic sperm traits were evaluated with a computer assisted sperm analyzer (CASA) system, and ultrastructural characteristics were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Testicular and epididymal tissues were observed by light microscopy and TEM and multiplex real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was used to detect and quantify toll-like receptor-4 (TLR-4) gene expression. The values of the analyzed semen parameters of rabbits treated with LPS-Propolfenol® and LPS-chocolate did not show any variations compared with the control group, but they were lower in rabbits treated only with LPS. Alterations observed in the testicular tissue of LPS treated-rabbits were not detected in specimens from the LPS-chocolate and LPS-Propolfenol® groups, which showed normal spermatogenesis. The TLR-4 mRNA expression was similar in controls, in LPS treated, and in LPS-chocolate groups, but it was significantly (p < 0.01) decreased in LPS-Propolfenol® rabbits. In conclusion, a chocolate and propolis-enriched diet showed a protective effect on the spermatogenetic process of buck rabbits following LPS treatment.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Deficiencies in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes have been shown to cause a wide spectrum of human diseases, including malignancies and neurological and cardiac diseases. In mammalian spermatozoa mitochondria, the TCA cycle is known to be a crucial metabolic pathway that contributes to produce ATP. There is little known about the role and mechanism of mitochondrial aconitase (ACO2), which is an important regulatory enzyme of the TCA cycle, in asthenozoospermia. In the current study, immunofluorescence staining localized ACO2 to the human sperm mid-piece. By immunoblotting, we demonstrated that the level of ACO2 protein in asthenozoospermic samples was significantly decreased compared with that in normal fertile men. Importantly, we first observed that co-incubation of isocitrate with low motile sperm suspensions significantly improved sperm motility, which might be due to elevated intracellular ATP. The improvement of the sperm motility by isocitrate may have important clinical implications in the treatment of asthenozoospermia and certainly warrants further investigation.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The present study was performed to determine the effects of different antioxidants on testicular histopathology and oxidative damage induced by cadmium (Cd) in rat testis and prostate. Twenty five rats were equally divided into five groups (n = 5/group). The control group was injected subcutaneously with saline while the Cd alone treated group received a subcutaneous injection of 0.2 mg/kg CdCl2. Other groups were treated with sulphoraphane (25 µg/rat), vitamin E (75 mg/kg), and Ficus Religiosa plant extract (100 mg/kg) orally along with subcutaneous injections of 0.2 mg/kg CdCl2 for fifteen days. Oxidative damage in the testicular and prostate tissues were assessed by the estimation of catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione reductase (GSR) activity. Lipid peroxidation (TBARS), protein estimation, and histomorphology were also assessed. Cadmium exposure caused a significant decrease in antioxidant enzymes like CAT, POD, SOD, GSR, protein concentrations, and a marked increase in TBARS activity in rat testis and prostate. Histological examination of adult male rat testes showed a disruption in the arrangement of seminiferous tubules along with a reduction in the number of germ cells, Leydig cells, tunica albuginea thickness, diameter of seminiferous tubules, and height of germinal epithelium. Co-treatment with vitamin E, sulphoraphane, and Ficus religiosa were found to be effective in reversing Cd induced toxicity, representing potential therapeutic options to protect the reproductive tissues from the detrimental effects of Cd toxicity.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Several studies have suggested that human semen quality has declined over past decades and some have associated decline with occupational exposures. Many studies have been conducted in occupational settings, where exposure to occupational pollutants is intense. Our objective was to examine the association between exposure to occupational factors based on an occupational exposure questionnaire, and semen quality parameters (sperm concentration, motility, sperm morphology) and sperm chromatin structure. The study population consisted of 336 men who were attending an infertility clinic for diagnostic purposes and who had a normal semen concentration of ≥15 mln/ml according to WHO criteria. All participants were interviewed and provided a semen sample. Additionally, a detailed questionnaire about the exposure to occupational factors was performed among the study participants. The results of the study suggest that occupational factors may affect semen quality. The exposure to noise during work was associated with decreased motility and increased DNA damage (p = 0.005 and p = 0.02, respectively). Exposure to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decreased sperm concentration and motility (p = 0.02 and p = 0.03, respectively). Whereas exposure to high temperatures and sitting for more than 6 hours during work was positively associated with DNA fragmentation index (DFI) (p = 0.03 and p = 0.001, respectively). After applying the correction for multiple comparisons only the exposure to noise and sitting ≥6 hours during work was associated with poorer semen quality (decreased motility and increased DFI, respectively). This study showed associations between self-reported occupational exposures and impaired semen parameters. The occupational exposure questionnaire may be useful in clinical practice for patients and physicians to identify the work factors associated with poorer semen quality.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Despite extensive research carried out for optimization and commercialization of sperm cryopreservation media, percentage of motility and viability remain low following cryopreservation. These adverse effects have been partially ascribed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production during cryopreservation. Therefore, we proposed that addition of a cell permeable antioxidant like Tempol, with superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic action, may overcome these effects in an optimized commercially available cryo-protective medium. Therefore, semen samples were cryopreserved in the presence or absence of Tempol. A concentration of 5 μM Tempol was defined as optimal since it significantly improved motility and viability post thawing and reduced DNA fragmented sperm. In addition, percentage of ROS positive sperm was reduced. These effects of Tempol can be attributed to cell permeability characteristic and ability to reduce superoxide production both at intra- and extra-cellular levels. Tempol may hold the potential for clinical applications.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract A wide variety of sperm preparation protocols are currently available for assisted conception. They include density gradient separation and washing methods. Both aim at isolating and capacitating as much motile sperm as possible for subsequent oocyte fertilization. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of four commercial sperm washing buffers on sperm viability and capacitation. Semen samples from 48 healthy donors (normal values of sperm count, motility, morphology, and volume) were analyzed. After separation (density gradient 40/80%), sperm were incubated in various buffers then analysed for reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, viability, tyrosine phosphorylation (Tyr-P), cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) labeling, and the acrosome reaction (AR). The buffers affected ROS generation in various ways resulting either in rapid cell degeneration (when the amount of ROS was too high for cell survival) or the inability of the cells to maintain correct functioning (when ROS were too few). Only when the correct ROS generation curve was maintained, suitable membrane reorganization, evidenced by CTB labeling was achieved, leading to the highest percentages of both Tyr-P- and acrosome-reacted-cells. Distinguishing each particular pathological state of the sperm sample would be helpful to select the preferred buffer treatment since both ROS production and membrane reorganization can be significantly altered by commercial buffers.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The present study evaluates the effect of oxamate derivatives (N-ethyl, N-propyl, N-butyl oxamates) on functional murine sperm parameters, towards a new male non-hormonal contraceptive. These derivatives are selective inhibitors of lactate dehydrogenase-C4 (LDH-C4). LDH-C4 is a sperm-specific enzyme that plays an important role in ATP production for maintaining progressive motility as well as to induce capacitation and hyperactivation. The results demonstrate that all oxamate derivatives selectively inhibited LDH-C4 in mouse sperm extracts. The IC50 values for hexokinase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were at least an order of magnitude greater than LDH-C4 IC50 values. Prodrugs of oxamate derivatives assayed on sperm cells diminished normal sperm motility parameters, acrosome reaction, and cell viability in a concentration dependent manner. Also, we performed in vivo studies to determine the potential toxicity and possible contraceptive ability of these inhibitors. Mouse sperm were more sensitive to the N-butyl oxamate ethyl ester (NBOXet). Furthermore, results showed that NBOXet was of a low toxicity substance that diminished the total and progressive motility as well as the kinematic parameters of sperm cells. Data from in vitro and in vivo studies showed that N-butyl oxamate and its prodrug, are selective inhibitors of sperm LDH-C4, has low toxicity, and inhibits sperm progressive motility, offering some of the desirable characteristics of a male contraceptive: effect, low toxicity, and selectivity.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This report describes a successful pregnancy and delivery following oocyte activation with strontium chloride (SrCl2) in couples with repeated complete fertilization failure or low fertilization rates even after calcium ionophore treatment. Eight infertile couples who showed complete fertilization failure or low fertilization rates after conventional intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and calcium ionophore treatment. When the results of fertilization were not satisfactory in the cycles, the oocytes were artificially activated by SrCl2 for the next attempts. Oocyte activation with SrCl2 significantly increased the fertilization rates, when compared with conventional ICSI or calcium ionophore treatment (61.7% vs. 20.0% or 25.3%, respectively). There was significant increase in the proportions of good-quality cleaved embryos (50.0% vs. 0% or 12.5%, respectively). The rate of surplus embryos that developed to blastocyst stage increased in SrCl2-treated oocytes, when compared with that in ICSI with or without calcium ionophore treatment (25.7% vs. 0% or 9.1%, respectively). Five successful pregnancies were attained after oocyte activation with SrCl2, of which eight healthy children were born. Physical and mental development of the children were normal from birth to 60 months. These results suggest that SrCl2 in treatment should be considered as an effective method for artificial oocyte activation (AOA) to improve fertilization rates and embryo quality in cases with complete fertilization failure or low fertilization rates after calcium ionophore treatment.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract It is necessary to regularly monitor thyroid function status during pregnancy. The repeated tests on serum thyroid hormones are invasive and can be uncomfortable. Sampling urine may provide an effective alternative. The primary aim of this study was to investigate if there is a correlation between the serum and urine levels of thyroid hormones during pregnancy. The secondary aim was to investigate their variation during pregnancy. This study collected the serum specimens of 30 healthy pregnant women at 9-12, 14-17, 23-26, and 37-40 weeks of gestation, respectively, simultaneously along with random urine specimens. This study compared the median levels of free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), and thyrotropin (TSH) in serum and urine among four gestational stages. The differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05). There were positive correlations between serum FT3 (sFT3) and uFT3/uRBP (the ratio of urine FT3(uFT3) and urine retinol binding protein (uRBP)), r = 0.38 (I(2 )= 0%, 95% CI: 0.21 ∼ 0.54), serum FT4 (sFT4) and uFT4/uRBP (the ratio of urine FT4 (uFT4) and uRBP), r = 0.29 (I(2 )= 68.9%, 95% CI: 0.07 ∼ 0.51), and no correlation between serum TSH (sTSH) and uTSH/uRBP (the ratio of urine TSH (uTSH) and uRBP), r = 0.11 (I(2 )= 86.7%, 95% CI: -0.24 ∼ 0.45). In conclusion, the levels of sFT3, sFT4, uFT3/uRBP, and uFT4/uRBP continued to decrease until the 27th week of gestation, when it was almost invariant. The levels of uFT3/uRBP and uFT4/uRBP correlated well with the sFT3 and sFT4 during pregnancy, which may provide a more convenient and secure way to monitor the maternal thyroid function status during pregnancy.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This study was aimed to investigate the long-term effect of vasectomy using the bonnet monkey (Macaca radiata) as a primate animal model. Animals weighing around 6 to 8 kg were randomly chosen for bilateral, unilateral vasectomy and sham-control. The postoperative periods of six months and two years were considered as short and long-term, respectively. Sperm were collected and subjected to analysis before euthanasia. The testes and epididymides were excised from euthanized animals then embedded in paraffin. Normal histological changes were observed in sham-operated animals and short-term contralateral testes. In contrast, marked alterations were observed in the testes and epididymides of both short and long-term groups. Seminiferous epithelium was thinned out showing marked depletion of germ cells in long-term; only a thin layer of Sertoli cells, spermatogonia, and fewer spermatocytes were seen. Exfoliation of germ cells and the occurrence of multinucleated giant cells were common features in these tubules. The epididymal tubular lumens were greatly dilated with accumulated spermatozoa in short and long-term animals; significant defects were observed in the epithelium of the long-term animals. Microscopic spermatic granulomas were noticed in epididymides and the vas deferens. Large granulomas were seen in long-term vasectomized monkeys, frequently compressing the surrounding structures. These granulomas could be visualized in ultrasound, however, only at the late stage of its occurrence. Sperm collected from the unilateral vasectomized animals showed a poor motility score in the capillary mucus penetration test (CMPT). Results indicate that the changes observed after vasectomy might be due to pressure initially, whereas in the long-term the damage was supplemented by autoimmune attack. With immunoglobulin (IgG) deposition in contra-lateral unoperated testis of unilateral vasectomized animals it also showed degenerative changes and a concomitant drop in sperm quality. Although, granulomatous reactions were observed in the epididymis and vas deferens but testes were spared from such reactions even in the long-term.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is a health problem that affects nearly 1% of fertile couples. However, the underlying etiology and mechanism(s) remain elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate estrogen receptor (ESR) 1 gene polymorphisms for risk association of unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA) in the Chinese Han population. The entire coding region of the ESR1 gene was sequenced from 129 URSA patients and 183 healthy controls. There was a significant difference between the G allele and GG genotype distributions, of the ESR1 gene (XbaI) polymorphism, between the URSA and the control groups (χ(2 )= 14.93, df = 1, p < 0.001, OR = 2.01 95% CI: 1.41-2.88 by allele; χ(2 )= 12.24, df = 2, p = 0.002 by genotype). The PvuII polymorphism, C allele frequency was higher in RSA than in controls (41.9% vs. 34.7%, respectively). Women carrying C-G haplotype were associated with an increased risk of URSA in this population (permutation test p value = 0.016, OR = 1.76 95% CI: 1.19-2.59). Estrogen receptor 1 gene PvuII and XbaI polymorphisms were associated with URSA in a Chinese Han population. However, independent replication of these associations are necessary to assure veracity.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Using the rabbit as an animal model, this study evaluated the long-term effect of silver nanoparticles (NPs) administered intravenously (0.6 mg/kg bw) on reproductive activity and sperm quality. Semen analysis was performed by optical microscopy and sperm motility evaluation by computer assisted sperm analyzer (CASA). Mitochondria oxygen consumption, light and transmission electron microscopy of rabbit testis and ejaculated sperm were also carried out. Throughout the experiment NP-treated rabbits showed higher seminal reactive oxygen species (ROS), less motile sperm, and lower curvilinear velocity and oxygen consumption than control animals. In contrast, libido, serum testosterone, sperm concentration, and semen volume were hardly affected by NPs. Transmission electron microscopy analysis did not show any evident morphological damage in testes; however, Ag NPs are visible in spermatids and ejaculated sperm. These preliminary results show that Ag NPs can reach the testes, compromising sperm motility, sperm speed, and acrosome and mitochondria shape and function.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract We explored the molecular mechanisms of obesity and insulin resistance in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) using a human embryonic stem cell model (hESCs). Three PCOS-derived and one non-PCOS-derived hESC lines were induced into adipocytes, and then total RNA was extracted. The differentially expressed PCOS-derived and non-PCOS-derived adipocytes genes were identified using the Boao Biological human V 2.0 whole genome oligonucleotide microarray. Signals of interest were then validated by real-time PCR. A total of 153 differential genes were expressed of which 91 genes were up-regulated and 62 down-regulated. Nuclear receptor subfamily 0, group B, member 2 (NR0B2) was an up-regulated gene, and the GeneChip CapitalBio® Molecule Annotation System V4.0 indicated that it was associated with obesity and diabetes (Ratio ≥2.0X). Multiple genes are involved in PCOS. Nuclear receptor subfamily 0, group B, member 2 may play a role in obesity and insulin resistance in patients with PCOS.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Both microdrop and open methods are commonly used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols for embryo culture as well as oocyte insemination. However, few comparative studies evaluating the microdrop or open method of insemination on the fertilization outcome and subsequent embryo development have been performed. A randomized study was conducted to compare microdrop and open fertilization with respect to fertilization rate and embryo development among non-male factor patients undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET). The results presented in this study demonstrate that the fertilization failure rate [total fertilization failure rate (TFF) plus low fertilization rate (<25% oocytes fertilized)] in the microdrop insemination group was higher than in the open insemination group (11.9% versus 3.3%, p < 0.001), while the good quality embryo rate and pregnancy rate did not differ significantly between the groups. As a highly complicated process involving many extrinsic and intrinsic factors, further studies are needed to confirm the effects of these insemination methods on the rate of fertilization failure.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Testicular function, specifically, production of testosterone by Leydig cells, diminishes during aging. Estradiol is also produced by the testis and potentially acts in an autocrine or paracrine manner to help regulate spermatogenesis. However, changes in estradiol concentration or receptor expression within the testis during aging remain unclear. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the estrogen environment of the testis is altered during aging and that these changes are associated with declining sperm production. Sprague Dawley rats were examined at three, 15, 18, and 21 months of age to detail changes in sperm production and testicular concentration of testosterone and estradiol; five rats were used at three and 21 months and three rats were used at 15 and 18 months. Daily sperm production declined 49% from 15 to 21 months of age. Testicular concentrations of estradiol declined 53% from 15 to 21 months of age; testosterone concentrations were not significantly different. These results suggest that declines in intra-testicular estradiol may contribute to declining sperm production. We further tested our hypothesis by treating rats once every third day with a subcutaneous injection of estradiol valerate (1 µg/kg) from 15 to 18 months of age. Estradiol was increased 54% in treated animals while testosterone was unaffected. Estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) expression was significantly reduced from 15 to 18 months and expression in estrogen-treated animals was significantly higher than age-matched controls. Additionally, ESR1 expression in 18 month treated animals was not different from 15 months of age. Importantly, daily sperm production in 18 month treated animals was 22% higher than age-matched controls; thus, treatment prevented approximately half of the decline observed in control animals. Collectively, our results suggest that estrogen is involved in maintaining optimum spermatogenesis in adult rats and that estrogen treatment may attenuate the age-associated loss in sperm production.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract We analyzed the inter-examination differences in sperm nuclear vacuoles among male patients with infertility. We enrolled 56 male patients with infertility who underwent multiple semen analyses and high-magnification observation of the sperm head. A total of 162 ejaculates were evaluated. The average patient age was 34.5 years. Following the conventional semen analysis, the nuclear vacuoles in motile spermatozoa were evaluated at 3700-6150 × magnification on an inverted microscope equipped with differential interference contrast optics. A large sperm nuclear vacuole (LNV) was defined as one or more vacuoles with a maximum diameter exhibiting >50% width of the sperm head. We compared the differences in the proportion of spermatozoa with LNVs between two consecutive semen samples before treatment. Treatment-related differences in the number of LNVs were also analyzed. Student's t-test was used to perform the statistical analyses. No differences were observed in any semen parameters between the first and second ejaculates. On high-magnification microscopy, the proportion of spermatozoa with LNVs was 23.5% and 29.4% (p = 0.0220) in the first and second ejaculates, respectively in 33 patients. Among the 18 patients who underwent varicocele repair using a microsurgical subinguinal approach, the proportion of spermatozoa with LNVs at baseline, three, and six months after surgery was 27.7%, 12.0% (p = 0.0132 versus baseline), and 10.3% (p = 0.0226 versus baseline), respectively. After three months of medical treatment for male infertility in 28 patients, the proportion of spermatozoa with LNVs slightly decreased from 33.3% to 28.6% (p = 0.1276); however, it was not statistically significant. In conclusion, when multiple ejaculates were obtained, in the subset of male patients with infertility, the proportion of spermatozoa with LNVs could be different. The number of LNVs decreased following varicocele repair.
    Systems biology in reproductive medicine 02/2014; 60(1):35-42.