Sperm or testicular tissue cryopreservation is performed in cases of male infertility as a treatment for the preservation of fertility. When these sperm cells are used in assisted reproductive techniques, fertilisation rates, developmental and implantation potential of embryos decrease and the abortion rates increase. In the present work, differences of both phosphorylation and expression levels of p53 and Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) proteins were analysed in 61 individual sperm samples before and after cryopreservation. We observed that p53 protein residue at Ser 15 was phosphorylated after cryopreservation. Because MAPK pathway activations may be involved in p53 phosphorylation, MAPK/ERK, Stress-activated protein kinases (SAPK)/JNK and p38MAPK proteins were also investigated. Analysis showed that p38MAPK phosphorylations increased significantly. However, ERK and JNK expressions and phosphorylations decreased, although the differences were not statistically significant. According to our results, it may be suggested that cryopreservation process activates p53 via p38 MAPK pathway that subsequently causes apoptosis, which may be related to sperm parameters.
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