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Title

Steroid profiles in both blood serum and seminal plasma are not correlated and do not reflect sperm quality: Study on the male reproductive health of fifty young Swiss men

Authors
Zufferey, Fanny
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Published in Clinical Biochemistry. 2018
Abstract Steroids play an important role in sperm production and quality. These hormones have been extensively studied in blood, but poorly investigated in semen. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the relationship between sperm quality and steroid profiles in blood and semen in a small cohort of young Swiss men. Another objective was to determine whether the presence of xenobiotics or drugs could influence these profiles. Semen analysis was performed according to WHO guidelines, and steroid profiles in blood serum and seminal plasma were determined by two complementary approaches: a targeted investigation involving the quantification of a limited number of relevant steroids for testing putative correlations with sperm parameters and a global "steroidomic" analysis highlighting their complex metabolic relationship. Results showed that steroid profiles are distinct within blood and seminal fluid. No significant correlation was found between individual steroids measured in blood and in semen, demonstrating the relevance of assessing hormone levels in both fluids. Moreover, testosterone and androstenedione levels were significantly correlated in semen but not in blood. None of the evaluated spermiogram parameters was linked to steroid levels measured in any medium. The steroidomic analyses confirmed that the steroids present in both fluids are different and that there is no correlation with spermiogram parameters. Finally, upon toxicological screening, we observed that all the three samples positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is known to act as an endocrine disruptor, displayed low seminal testosterone concentrations. In conclusion, we did not find any evidence suggesting using steroid profiles, neither in blood nor in semen, as surrogates for sperm analyses. However, steroid profiles could be useful biomarkers of individual exposure to endocrine disruptors.
Identifiers
PMID: 29555320
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Structures
Research group Mécanismes moléculaires et génétiques du développement sexuel (778)
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ZUFFEREY, Fanny et al. Steroid profiles in both blood serum and seminal plasma are not correlated and do not reflect sperm quality: Study on the male reproductive health of fifty young Swiss men. In: Clinical Biochemistry, 2018. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:109397

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Deposited on : 2018-10-19

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