An official journal of the Society for Biology of Reproduction and the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn

September 2013 (No. 3)

Chromatin structure analysis of spermatozoa from reciprocal chromosome translocation (RCT) carriers with known meiotic segregation patterns

Marta Olszewska a, Monika Fraczek a, Nataliya Huleyuk b, Anna Czernikiewicz a, Ewa Wiland a, Magdalena Boksa a, Danuta Zastavna b, Barbara Panasiuk c, Alina T. Midro c, Maciej Kurpisz a,*

a Department of Reproductive Biology and Stem Cells, Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Strzeszynska 32, 60-479 Poznan, Poland

b Institute of Hereditary Pathology, Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences, Lysenko Str. 31a, 79000 Lviv, Ukraine

c Department of Clinical Genetics, Medical University of Bialystok, Waszyngton 13, PO Box 22, 15-089 Bialystok, Poland

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The presence of reciprocal chromosome translocations (RCTs), as well as sperm chromatin disturbances, is known to exert negative influence on male fertility. The aim of this study was to identify an association between chromosome structural rearrangements in male RCT carriers and sperm seminological parameters (concentration, motility, morphology), chromatin status (fragmentation and maturity), meiotic segregation pattern and observed chromosomal hyperhaploidy. Sperm samples originated from ten male RCT carriers with reproductive failure/success. TUNEL assay (DNA fragmentation) and chromomycin A3 (CMA3)/aniline blue (AB) staining (chromatin maturity) were used to analyze sperm chromatin status while fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was applied to observe meiotic segregation patterns and hyperhaploidy in spermatozoa. We found that the mean level of sperm DNA fragmentation in the RCT carrier group (18.0±11.9%) was significantly higher (p = 0.0006) than the mean of the control group (7.5±4.3%). There was no correlation observed between sperm DNA fragmentation levels (5.6–38.0%) and the frequency of genetically normal/balanced gametes (34.3–62.4%), sperm seminological quality or revealed reproductive failure. In contrast, a correlation between the frequencies of genetically normal/balanced spermatozoa and of gametes with mature chromatin was observed (CMA3: R = 0.4524, p = 0.2604; AB: R = 0.5238, p = 0.1827). A statistically significant increase in the hyperhaploidy level of selected chromosomes in all analyzed RCT carriers was documented but was not correlated to sperm seminology or fertility status. Further evaluation and additional assays toward sperm chromatin quality assessment in RCT carriers is suggested to explain the complexity of genomic structural rearrangements and its possible relevance to reproductive success or failure.

Reproductive Biology 2013 13 3: 209–220.

*Corresponding author: Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Strzeszynska 32, 60-479 Poznan, Poland; E-mail addresses:, (M. Kurpisz).