“Sperm with altered DNA may lead to health problems in the offspring.”

Emobileclinic Researchers’corner: Effect of smoking on sperm

Smoking has been found to be one of the determinants of sperm quality according to a recent study of BJU International study. The researchers found that sperm of men who smoke has a greater extent of DNA damage than that of non-smokers.

In the study, researchers assessed 422 proteins in participants’ sperm. One protein was absent, 27 proteins were underrepresented, and 6 proteins were over-represented in smokers. Analyses of these proteins suggest that cigarette smoking may promote an inflammatory response in the male reproductive tract.

The study included 20 nonsmoking men and 20 men who smoked. Dr Bertolla, a senior author of the study opines that “more and more studies are demonstrating a harmful effect of smoking on male fertility. Our results point in the direction of important semen alterations: semen of smokers presents an inflammatory nature, associated with decreased capacity of sperm to achieve fertilization and generate a healthy pregnancy”. 

He stresses further that “it is especially noteworthy that, in our study, sperm DNA fragmentation was increased. Other studies have proposed this to be a potentially promutagenic effect, which is to say that sperm with altered DNA may lead to health problems in the offspring.”


Article: Analysis of the functional aspects and seminal plasma proteomic profile of sperm from smokers, Mariana Pereira Antoniassi, Paula Intasqui, Mariana Camargo, Daniel Suslik Zylbersztejn, Valdemir Melechco Carvalho, Karina H. M. Cardozo and Ricardo Pimenta Bertolla, BJU International, doi: 10.1111/bju.13539, published online 20 June 2016.


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