L-Carnitine and Pentoxifylline Supplementation Improves Sperm Viability and Motility at Low Temperature

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Department of Reproductive Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran

3 Tissue engineering lab, Department of Anatomy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS), Shiraz, Iran

4 Anatomy department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences


Background: In infertility clinics, preserving high-quality spermatozoa for a long time is a necessity. Pentoxifylline (PT) and L-carnitine (LC) are effective in improving sperm motility and protecting the sperm membrane. This study aimed to investigate the protective impacts of PT and LC on the quality of the normal sperm motility, protamine content, and viability on prolonge storage for12 days at 4-6°C.
Materials and methods: In this experimental study, 26 samples, which were first prepared based on the swim-up technique, of normozoospermic men were divided into three aliquots as untreated control, LC-treated, and PT-treated groups and incubated for up to 12 days at 4-6 °C. Thereafter, chromatin maturity, sperm viability,and motility were assessed on 0, 1, 2, 5, 7, and 12 days. Data were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance.
Results: The obtained data revealed that PT supplementation increased the percentage of motile spermatozoa compared to control and LC–treated samples. On the other hand, LC supplementation increased the percentage of viable spermatozoa in comparison with the control and PT-treated samples. During the 12-day storage, the percentage of spermatozoa with a normal protamine content was nearly unchanged in the three groups (p-value >0.05).
Conclusion: Although LC supplementation can be considered a better alternative than PT for preserving sperm viability, PT could better preserve sperm motility compared to LC during 12 days at 4-6 °C.