Sperm epigenetic profile and risk of cancer
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Diagnostic Techniques Unit, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Corresponding author
Artur Wdowiak   

Diagnostic Techniques Unit, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2014;8(2):67-70
Introduction and objective:
The integrity, stability and composition of sperm chromatin are of great importance in the fertilizing potential of male gametes and their capacity to support normal embryonic development. In this study, the author presents the current state of knowledge about the sperm epigenetic profile and risk of cancer.

Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge:
The obtaining of pregnancy and the state of health of the baby depends on the quality of the genetic material of both the female and the male. Health behaviours and environmental factors directly affect the quality of sperm, as well as the human egg cell and, consequently, on the reproductive capabilities, the course of pregnancy and the state of the newborn. There exist two thoroughly investigated epigenetic modifications: DNA methylation and histone modifications. The process of DNA methylation can be also a fundamental factor contributing to the development of cancer, where epigenotype undergoes significant modifications. When considering numerous DNA aberrations in the male gamete, the most commonly encountered is DNA fragmentation, particularly in infertile subjects. Surprisingly, an intracytoplasmatic sperm injection study of mice oocytes, using spermatozoa with a high DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI), revealed that a considerable percentage of adults born as a result of this method, showed a significant increase in the incidence of abnormal behavioural tests, malformations, cancer and signs of premature aging.

The issue of assisted procreation raises the need to look for an appropriate treatment for males with sperm chromatin abnormalities. As a result, the fight against smoking addiction becomes the obvious necessity. Moreover, the reasonable solution nowadays seems to be supplementation with micronutrients and folic acid. It has been proved that the process of DNA fragmentation is a phenomenon that intensifies over time. Therefore, there should be a pursuance for, as close as possible, to the moment of ejaculation, application of semen to reproductive techniques. Finally, epigenetic changes are suspected of being one of the factors responsible for the deterioration of male sperm parameters observed in recent decades.

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