Evaluation of chromatin condensation in human spermatozoa: A flow cytometric assay using Acridine Orange staining

R. Golan, L. Shochat, R. Weissenberg, Y. Soffer, Z. Marcus, Y. Oschry, L. M. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The quality of sperm chromatin is an important factor in fertilization and is especially critical where one spermatozoon is artificially selected for fertilizing an egg (as in intracytoplasmic sperm injection). In this study, flow cytometry after staining of human spermatozoa with Acridine Orange was used to study chromatin structure. A method is described for estimating the percentage of cells in a human sperm sample that have completed epididymal maturation in regard to chromatin condensation. Of the 121 samples of semen that were examined, nine contained a higher percentage of hypocondensed spermatozoa and six samples contained elevated amounts of hypercondensed spermatozoa. In addition to aberrancies in chromatin condensation other defects showed up as satellite populations of spermatozoa with higher than normal ratios of red/green fluorescence after Acridine Orange staining. Such defects were found in 15 semen samples. The use of swim-up and Percoll gradient centrifugation methods was shown to improve the percentage of spermatozoa with normal chromatin structure in some samples with poor initial quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Acridine Orange
  • Chromatin condensation
  • Flow cytometry
  • Human spermatozoa

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