Effect of Smoking Status on Seminal Parameters and Apoptotic Markers in Infertile Men

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Abstract

Purpose

We assessed semen parameters, sperm apoptotic markers and seminal plasma cotinine in infertile smokers.

Materials and Methods

A total of 160 men were divided into 4 equal groups, including fertile smokers, fertile nonsmokers, infertile smokers and infertile nonsmokers. Smoking was classified as mild—fewer than 10, moderate—10 to 20 or heavy—more than 20 cigarettes daily. All men underwent semen analysis, and assessment of sperm caspase-9, Smac/DIABLO, DNA fragmentation and seminal plasma cotinine.

Results

Infertile men, particularly smokers, have significantly lower semen variables and significantly higher sperm Smac/DIABLO, caspase-9 activity, the percent of DNA fragmentation and seminal plasma cotinine. The mean number of cigarettes smoked daily and smoking duration significantly correlated positively with sperm Smac/DIABLO, caspase-9 activity, the percent of DNA fragmentation and seminal plasma cotinine, and significantly correlated negatively with tested semen variables. Heavy smoking was associated with a significant increase in sperm Smac/DIABLO, caspase-9 activity and seminal plasma cotinine, and with a significant decrease in tested semen variables compared with those in moderate or mild smokers.

Conclusions

Smoking has a negative impact on semen variables. It is associated with increased sperm caspase-9, Smac/DIABLO and the percent of DNA fragmentation, especially in infertile heavy smokers.

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