Study of spermatogenesis and hormonal status in young males from Eastern Siberia

Osadchuk L.V., Kuznecova N.N., Kleschev M.N., Osadchuk A.V.

Introduction. Prevention of reproductive disorders implies monitoring of the reproductive health of the population, especially in the regions with high level of anthropogenic pollution of the environment. Male fertility (the ability to conceive) is mainly determined by the quality of sperm cells, so that sperm studies is a prominent stage in clinical andrology, reproductive toxicology and epidemiology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive capacity and its hormonal correlates in a group of young males from Kemerovo.

Materials and methods. Parameters of spermatogenesis and levels of reproductive hormones were studied in young male volunteers (n=111, aged 18-25). The study included males without any infectious diseases of the reproductive system at the time of the examination, who did not have sexual intercourse and did not consume alcohol 2-3 days before the trial. All males had to fill in a special questionnaire which included questions concerning patients’ age, nationality, smoking and alcohol consumption, education, profession and medical anamnesis. Physical examination was performed by an andrologist, during which symptoms of reproductive disorders were being revealed. Testes volume (using Prader orchidome-ter), height and body mass were being measured. Collection and analysis of the ejaculate was performed according to the WHO guidelines. Hormonal status (the levels of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, testosterone, estradiol, inhibin B and prolactin in blood serum) was determined by immunoassays.

Results and discussion. The disorders of spermatogenesis were found in 51.4% of males. 21.6% of the patients have demonstrated a decrease in the proportion of active sperm cells (asthenozoosper-mia), 14.4% have demonstrated a simultaneous decrease in the concentration and proportion of active and morphologically normal sperm cells (oligoasthenoteratospermia) and 6.3% of them have demonstrated a simultaneous decrease in the proportion of motile and morphologically normal sperm cells, according to the WHO reference values (2010). A close relationship between the concentration and the proportion of motile and morphologically normal sperm cells in the ejaculate was determined. No changes in blood levels of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, testosterone, estradiol, inhibin B and prolactin were found in males with spermatogenesis deficiencies in comparison with patients with normo-spermia.

Results. Determination of the levels of reproductive hormones is not informative and does not serve as a predictor for fertility in population studies of reproductive capacity in males. Presumably, a decrease in the amount of Sertoli cells or their function caused by environmental factors might play a major role in the pathogenesis of subfertility.

Authors declare lack of the possible conflicts of interests.

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sperm concentration, sperm motility, sperm morphology, male fertility, reproductive hormones