Comparison between SPATA18 and P53 Gene Expressions in The Sperm Cells Obtained from Normospermic and Asthenospermic Samples: A Case-Control Study

Document Type : Original Article


Department of the Genetics, Zanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan, Iran


Background: Improving sperm motility results in increasing the success of a treatment cycle. Recently, sperm RNA has 
been used for diagnostic purposes such as whole seminal fluid, sperm analysis, and sperm quality test in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI). SPATA18-P53 pathway is considered an essential pathway related to sperm mitochondria, which controls mitochondrial quality by eliminating its oxidative proteins. Oxidative stress may decrease sperm motility and affect sperm quality negatively due to an increase in P53 expression. SPATA18 protein is found in satellite fibers related to outer dense fibers in the middle piece of sperm. The downregulation of SPATA18 in the asthenospermia group can represent this gene’s critical function in sperm motility and fertility. The present study aimed to assess the relationship between SPATA18 and P53 gene expression in sperm cells obtained from normospermia and asthenospermia.
Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 
technique was used to measure the SPATA18 and P53 gene expression level in sperm samples collected from 21 patients and 63 healthy individuals. Further, the sperm DNA fragmentation assay (SDFA) kit was applied to determine the relative apoptosis level in cells and evaluate the biochemical information related to the patients’ sperm samples. Furthermore, all the participants completed the consent form, and the ethics committee confirmed the study.
Results: Based on the results, the P53 and SPATA18 gene expression levels in most of the samples, in which motility 
was less than 40%, increased and decreased (P≤0.001), respectively.
Conclusion: The SPATA18 and P53 gene expression levels increased and decreased in the asthenospermic patients, 
respectively, compared to the control group. Thus, the P53 and SPATA18 expression levels can be used as an appropriate marker for diagnosing sperm motility in male.


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