The aim of this study was to evaluate the chromatin status in different groups of patients. Five groups of men were selected: pre-vasectomy; male factor infertility; varicocele; immunological male infertility; and idiopathic infertility. Chromatin status was evaluated using flow cytometry after staining the DNA with the fluorochrome propidium iodide. Differences were observed in the state of sperm chromatin between the male factor and varicocele groups with respect to the others. These two groups presented poorer quality chromatin, as evidenced fundamentally by a lower degree of condensation. These deficiencies in chromatin status were usually accompanied by alterations in the other standard parameters of semen analysis. Individuals who are infertile due to male factor and those presenting varicocele have spermatozoa with less condensed chromatin which might, in part, explain their sterility.
Copyright (C) 2001, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
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