Abstract Title:

Molecular aspects of declining sperm motility in older men.

Abstract Source:

Fertil Steril. 2005 Nov;84(5):1430-7. PMID: 16275240

Abstract Author(s):

Ralf Henkel, Gesa Maass, Hans-Christian Schuppe, Andreas Jung, Jörg Schubert, Wolf-Bernhard Schill

Article Affiliation:

Department of Urology, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany. [email protected]


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the molecular mechanism for declining sperm motility in older men. DESIGN: Retrospective and prospective study. SETTING: University-based andrology unit. PATIENT(S): Semen was collected from 2,111 patients and sperm donors. INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Age, sperm concentration, ejaculate volume, sperm motility (including velocity average path, velocity straight line, velocity curvilinear, linearity, and lateral head displacement), normal sperm morphology, percentage of abnormally blue-stained flagella, and total and free T, FSH, and LH concentrations were analyzed. In addition, the zinc concentration in the seminal fluid, flagella, and the whole spermatozoa was measured by means of atomic absorption spectrometry. RESULT(S): Patient age correlated negatively with T concentration and sperm motility, including velocity, but positively with the percentage of abnormally stained flagella and the flagellar zinc. Whereas the percentage of abnormally stained flagella correlated negatively with motility and sperm velocity, there was a positive relationship with the flagellar zinc content. Flagellar zinc content was negatively correlated with motility. Testosterone showed a positive relationship with motility and sperm concentration. CONCLUSION(S): Because the epididymis is functionally T-dependent, our data suggest that the removal of zinc from the outer dense fibers during epididymal sperm maturation is affected in aging men, which in turn will result in decreased sperm motility.

Study Type : Human Study

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