Systems biology in reproductive medicine

The effect of environmental exposure to pyrethroids and DNA damage in human sperm.

PMID 25376306


The present study was designed to investigate whether environmental exposure to pyrethroids was associated with sperm DNA damage. Between January 2008 and April 2011 286 men under 45 years of age with a normal sperm concentration of 15-300 10(6)/ml [WHO 2010] were recruited from an infertility clinic in Lodz, Poland. Participants were interviewed and provided urine, saliva, and semen samples. The pyrethroids metabolites: 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3PBA), cis-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane carboxylic acid (CDCCA), trans-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane carboxylic acid (TDCCA), and cis-2,2-dibromovinyl-2,2-dimethylcyclopropane-carboxylic acid (DBCA) were analyzed in the urine using a validated gas chromatography ion-tap mass spectrometry method. Sperm DNA damage was assessed using a flow cytometry based on sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). A positive association was observed between CDCCA >50th percentile and the percentage of medium DNA fragmentation index (M DFI) and percentage of immature sperms (HDS) (p = 0.04, p = 0.04 respectively). The level of 3PBA >50th percentile in urine was positively related to the percentage of high DNA fragmentation index (H DFI) (p = 0.03). The TDCCA, DBCA levels, and the sum of pyrethroid metabolites were not associated with any sperm DNA damage measures. Our results suggest that environmental pyrethroid exposure may affect sperm DNA damage measures index indicated the reproductive effects of pyrethroid exposure on adult men. In view of the importance of human reproductive health and the widespread usage of pyrethroids, it is important to further investigate these correlations.