Sperm DNA: organization, protection and vulnerability: from basic science to clinical applications-a position report

Christopher L. R. Barratt, R. John Aitken, Lars Bjorndahl, Douglas T. Carrell, Peter de Boer, Ulrik Kvist, Sheena E. M. Lewis, Sally D. Perreault, Melissa J. Perry, Liliana Ramos, Bernard Robaire, Steven Ward, Armand Zini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    222 Citations (Scopus)


    This article reports the results of the most recent in a series of EHSRE workshops designed to synthesize the current state of the field in Andrology and provide recommendations for future work (for details see Appendix). Its focus is on methods for detecting sperm DNA damage and potential application of new knowledge about sperm chromatin organization, vulnerability and repair to improve the diagnosis and treatment of clinical infertility associated with that damage. Equally important is the use and reliability of these tests to identify the extent to which environmental contaminants or pharmaceutical agents may contribute to the incidence of sperm DNA damage and male fertility problems. A working group (for workshop details, see Appendix) under the auspices of ESHRE met in May 2009 to assess the current knowledgebase and suggest future basic and clinical research directions. This document presents a synthesis of the working group's understanding of the recent literature and collective discussions on the current state of knowledge of sperm chromatin structure and function during fertilization. It highlights the biological, assay and clinical uncertainties that require further research and ends with a series of 5 key recommendations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)824-838
    Number of pages15
    JournalHuman Reproduction
    Issue number4
    Early online date6 Feb 2010
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


    • Sperm DNA damage
    • Sperm chromatin
    • Male infertilty
    • ART
    • Chromatin structure assay
    • Deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation
    • Assisted Reproductive techniques
    • Oral antioxidant treatment
    • In vitro fertilization
    • Strand break repair
    • Human spermatozoa
    • Semen quality
    • Oxidative stress
    • Human fertility


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