Background: The negative effects of ionizing radiation on organs and the reproductive system are well known and documented. Exposure to gamma radiation can lead to oligospermia, azoospermia and DNA damage. Up to date, there is no effective pharmaceutical compound for protecting the male reproductive system and sperm. Objective: This study aimed at investigating the ability of Ɛ-aminocaproic acid (EACA) to prevent the damage of human spermatozoa and DNA induced by ionizing radiation. Materials and methods: Sperm samples were obtained from healthy volunteers (35 men; 31.50 ± 7.34 years old). There were four experimental groups: (1) control group (CG), (2) group exposed to maximal radiation dose 67.88 mGy (RMAX), (3) low-dose radiation (minimal) 22.62 mGy (RMIN), and (4) group treated with radiation (67.88 mGy) and EACA (dose 50 ng/mL). Sperm motility, viability, and DNA damage were assessed. Results: We observed a significant decrease in total sperm motility of the RMAX group compared to CG (p <.05). Sperm viability in the RMAX group was also reduced in comparison to the control (p <.05). A significant increase in DNA fragmentation was detected in the RMAX group. The results demonstrated that the treatment of sperm with EACA led to a decrease in the fragmentation of the sperm DNA (compared to the RMAX group) (p <.05). Conclusion: The results indicate that EACA effectively protects human spermatozoa from DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation. Treatment of spermatozoa with EACA led to the preservation of cell motility, viability, and DNA integrity upon radiation exposure.
- Ionizing radiation
- aminocaproic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging