Effects of ascorbic acid on sperm motility, viability, acrosome reaction and DNA integrity in teratozoospermic samples
Mohammad Reza Parvizi
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© 2014, Research and Clinical Center for Infertitlity. All rights reserved. Background: Oxidative stress in teratozoospermic semen samples caused poor assisted reproductive techniques (ART) outcomes. Among antioxidants, ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring free radical scavenger and as such its presence assists various other mechanisms in decreasing numerous disruptive free radical processes. Objective: The main goal of this study was to evaluate potential protective effects of ascorbic acid supplementation during in vitro culture of teratozoospermic specimens. Materials and Methods: Teratozoospermic semen samples that collected from 15 volunteers were processed, centrifuged and incubated at 37°C until sperm swimmed-up. Supernatant was divided into four groups and incubated at 37°C for one hour under different experimental conditions: Control, 10 μm A23187, 600μm ascorbic acid and 10 μm A23187+600 μm ascorbic acid. After incubation sperm motility, viability, acrosome reaction, DNA damage and malondialdehyde levels were evaluated. Results: Our results indicated that after one hour incubation, ascorbic acid significantly reduced malondialdehyde level in ascorbic acid group (1.4±0.11 nmol/ml) compared to control group (1.58±0.13 nmol/ml) (p < 0.001). At the end of incubation, progressive motility and viability in ascorbic acid group (64.5±8.8% and 80.3±6.4%, respectively) were significantly (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively) higher than the control group (54.5±6.8% and 70.9±7.3%, respectively). A23187 significantly (p < 0.0001) increased acrosome reaction in A23187 group (37.3±5.6%) compared to control group (8.5±3.2%) and this effect of A23187 attenuated by ascorbic acid in ascorbic acid+A23187 group (17.2±4.4%). DNA fragmentation in ascorbic acid group (20±4.1%) was significantly (p < 0.001) lower than controls (28.9±4.6%). Conclusion: In vitro ascorbic acid supplementation during teratozoospermic semen processing for ART could protect teratozoospermic specimens against oxidative stress, and it could improve ART outcome.