Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA

In vitro assessment of the adverse effects of antiretroviral drugs on the human male gamete.

PMID 21130153


This study was designed to investigate the in vitro effects of didanosine, zidovudine, saquinavir and indinavir, commonly used in highly active antiretroviral therapy, on human sperm fertility parameters. Thirty semen samples from healthy men were collected and prepared by gradient density method. Aliquots of 90% fractions with >80% motile spermatozoa were incubated for 1, 3, and 6h with different concentrations of the antiretroviral drugs (20, 40, and 80 μg/ml). Sperm motility was evaluated by computer assisted sperm analysis system. Sperm mitochondrial potential was evaluated using 3,3'-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide (DIOC(6)) and the acrosome reaction was examined using pisum sativum agglutinin method. A dose-dependent decrease in sperm motility was observed with saquinavir. Saquinavir also induced a significant time and dose-dependent decrease in mitochondrial potential and an increase in spontaneous acrosome reaction. These findings indicate that, in vitro, higher doses of saquinavir have adverse effects on sperm motility, mitochondrial potential and acrosome reaction.

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