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Background: This was a cross-sectional study in China which analyzed the levels of macrophages (Mφ) in semen and evaluated the influence of Mφ levels in semen on sperm quality. Methods: The subjects involves 78 males, 25- to 35-year old. The samples were divided into a low group (Mφ < 6 × 105/ml) and a high group (Mφ > 6 × 105/ml). Evaluation included consideration of the influencing factors of male semen quality, macrophage concentration, sperm motility, morphology, membrane integrity DNA fragmentation index (DFI), anti-sperm antibodies (AsAb), IL-10, and IL-12 in semen. Results: There was no difference in the physical or chemical indices of the semen, sperm concentration, AsAb, IL-10, or IL-12 between the two groups (P > 0.05). The percentage of sperm forward motility (PR%), the rate of normal sperm shape, and the integrity of cell membranes in the low group were higher than those in the high group (P < 0.05), while the percentage of sperm inactivity (IM%), the rate of sperm head deformity, the rate of deformity in the neck and middle segment, the sperm deformity index (SDI), the teratozoospermia index (TZI), and the sperm DFI in the low group were lower than those in the high group (P < 0.05). The concentration of Mφ in the semen was linearly correlated with sperm concentration, sperm PR%, IM%, sperm normal shape rate, head deformity rate, neck and middle deformity rate, SDI, TZI, sperm DFI, and sperm cell membrane integrity (P < 0.05), but there was no linear correlation with IL-10 or IL-12 (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The Mφ concentration in semen is not significantly correlated with semen volume or sperm concentration, but negatively correlated with sperm motility, morphology, cell membrane integrity, and DNA damage rate. There is no significant correlation between the macrophages and the concentration of IL-10 or IL-12.
Chen, G., & Zheng, B. (2021). Effect of macrophages in semen on sperm quality. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12958-021-00724-1