Seminal plasma levels of copper and its relationship with seminal parameters

Eidi, Maryam; Eidi, Akram; Pouyan, Omid; Shahmohammadi, Pouneh; Fazaeli, Reza; Bahar, Massih
April 2010
Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine;Spring2010, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p60
Academic Journal
Background: The trace element copper has been identified as a highly toxic element for sperm. It is known to affect sperm motility in humans, and experimental implantation of copper in the epididymis, vas deferens, and scrotum of mammals has been demonstrated to affect fertility detrimentally. Objective: Sperm concentration, motility, vitality and morphology are parameters used to evaluate potential male fertility. Since, copper is believed to be important for spermatogenesis; we conducted a study to investigate the correlation between seminal plasma copper concentration and human semen parameters in 232 males. Materials and Methods: We selected 232 subfertile or infertile men who referred to Omid Fertility Clinic, randomly. Samples were categorized into normospermic (n=32), oligozospermic (n=73), asthenozospermic (n=111) and azospermic (n=16) groups according to their spermiogrames. Total seminal plasma copper concentration was determined by furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results: The results showed that seminal plasma copper concentrations in oligozospermic, asthenozospermic and azospermic groups are significantly higher than normozospermic group (p<0.01). Also, negative correlations were found between seminal plasma copper concentration and sperm count (p<0.05), sperm motility (p<0.01), sperm vitality (p<0.01), normal morphology (p<0.01) and pH (p<0.01) in all groups. Conclusion: It was suggested that excess copper in seminal plasma was detrimental for male reproductive capacity by reducing sperm count, motility, vitality and morphology.


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