Seminal macrophages are occasionally reported though their relevance in the evaluation of human ejaculate is unknown. Activated macrophages, engaging in sperm phagocytosis (spermiophages), might represent a marker of innate immunosystem activation. We investigated whether the presence of spermiophages in non-leukocytospermic ejaculates from men complaining for couple infertility is associated with altered sperm features. Four hundred and thirtyfour ejaculates were retrospectively analysed after excluding samples with antisperm antibodies, or a leukocyte number ‡1 · 106 ⁄ mL. Semen quality was compared in samples with or without spermiophages detected with transmission electron microscope. Presence of spermiophages, observed in 27% of ejaculates, was associated with a decreased number of sperm total count (p < 0.0001), of sperm forward motility (p = 0.048), and to an increased fraction of degenerating sperm (p = 0.0002) compared to ejaculates without spermiophages. A low number of total ejaculated sperm and an increased number of degenerating sperm independently predicted the presence of spermiophages (odds ratio 1.72; 95% confidence intervals 1.10 to 2.28 and odds ratio 1.85; 95% confidence intervals 1.19 to 2.88 respectively). Data demonstrate that activated macrophages, a marker of the innate immunosystem activation, are frequently observed in non-leukocytospermic ejaculates of men suffering for couple infertility and this may be associated with altered sperm parameters. Ultrastructural analysis gives qualitative informations, hence sensitive quantitative tests should better define the association between semen activated macrophages and oligoasthenozoospermia and the possible relevance of this finding in the clinical evaluation of the male partner of couple infertility.

Seminal macrophages in ejaculates from men with couple infertility

NECOZIONE, STEFANO;FRANCAVILLA, Felice;FRANCAVILLA, Sandro
2009

Abstract

Seminal macrophages are occasionally reported though their relevance in the evaluation of human ejaculate is unknown. Activated macrophages, engaging in sperm phagocytosis (spermiophages), might represent a marker of innate immunosystem activation. We investigated whether the presence of spermiophages in non-leukocytospermic ejaculates from men complaining for couple infertility is associated with altered sperm features. Four hundred and thirtyfour ejaculates were retrospectively analysed after excluding samples with antisperm antibodies, or a leukocyte number ‡1 · 106 ⁄ mL. Semen quality was compared in samples with or without spermiophages detected with transmission electron microscope. Presence of spermiophages, observed in 27% of ejaculates, was associated with a decreased number of sperm total count (p < 0.0001), of sperm forward motility (p = 0.048), and to an increased fraction of degenerating sperm (p = 0.0002) compared to ejaculates without spermiophages. A low number of total ejaculated sperm and an increased number of degenerating sperm independently predicted the presence of spermiophages (odds ratio 1.72; 95% confidence intervals 1.10 to 2.28 and odds ratio 1.85; 95% confidence intervals 1.19 to 2.88 respectively). Data demonstrate that activated macrophages, a marker of the innate immunosystem activation, are frequently observed in non-leukocytospermic ejaculates of men suffering for couple infertility and this may be associated with altered sperm parameters. Ultrastructural analysis gives qualitative informations, hence sensitive quantitative tests should better define the association between semen activated macrophages and oligoasthenozoospermia and the possible relevance of this finding in the clinical evaluation of the male partner of couple infertility.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/2927
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