The effect of vitamin C on the gene expression profile of sperm protamines in the male partners of couples with recurrent pregnancy loss: A randomized clinical trial.
Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2020 Mar ;47(1):68-76. Epub 2020 Mar 1. PMID: 32146776
OBJECTIVE: Since sperm abnormalities are known to be a major reason for recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), any defects in DNA structure and chromatin condensation can place embryos at risk in the early stage of development and implantation. As antioxidants such as vitamin C may play a protective role against the destruction of protamine genes in sperm chromatin, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of vitamin C on chromatin and the expression of protamine genes in the male partners of couples with RPL.
METHODS: Twenty male partners of couples with RPL were selected as the intervention group and received vitamin C supplementation (250 mg daily for 3 months). Healthy fertile men (n=20) were included as controls. Sperm chromatin, DNA integrity, and the expression levels of protamine genes were evaluated before and after treatment.
RESULTS: Significant differences were found in sperm morphology, protamine deficiency, and apoptosis between the two groups and before and after vitamin C administration. A significant change was found in mRNA levels of PRM1, PRM2, and the PRM1/PRM2 ratio after treatment.
CONCLUSION: Daily oral administration of vitamin C may improve human sperm parameters and DNA integrity by increasing protamine gene expression levels in the male partners of couples with RPL. The beneficial effects of vitamin C supplementation as an antioxidant for the male partners of couples with RPL could lead to improved pregnancy outcomes in these cases.