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Environmental factors as possible causes of DNA fragmentation in human sperms

  • Autori: Bosco, L.; Ruvolo, G.; LO BOSCO, G.; Chiappetta, R.; Di Filippo, F.; Prusciano, F.; Agnello, M.; Roccheri, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Abstract in atti di convegno pubblicato in volume
  • OA Link:


Literature data demonstrated that some environmental factors could have a key role in the remarkable and continuous decline of sperm quality observed in the last fifty years. Specifically, in the Taranto area, data about the detrimental effects of environmental pollution are alarming because of the high level of poisons released in the atmosphere. Pollution coming from the plant causes health and fertility risks, mainly due to the exposure to the dioxin. Our study analyzed sperm samples from three patients groups: i) workers of local steel factories; ii) Taranto residents; iii) Controls. Results demonstrate that patients from the “factory workers” group, constantly exposed to environmental pollutants for professional reasons, show a mean percentage of DNA fragmentation above 30%. In contrast, patients from group “Taranto residents” and patients coming from Palermo considered as “Controls” group show mean percentages of 25 and 16.8%, respectively. We observed an increase of spermatic DNA fragmentation (DFI) in the “factory workers” and “Taranto residents” groups, compared to “Controls”. These ones are patients of an in vitro fertilization clinic, with supposed fertility issues. It is known that a spermatic DFI less than 15% is physiologic, while above 30% is related to fertility issues. It is also known that interrupting the sperms damaging source might bring back the DFI level to normal values. So, moving away from the sperms damaging source, patients from “factory workers” and “Taranto residents” groups could restore spermatogenesis. The research methods employed in this study were found to be specific and valid for these analysis.