Document Type : Original Article
Department of Reproductive Biology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran
Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Department of Medical Nanotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Faculty of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran
Background: Although application of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in industry and medicine
has increased, their potential toxicity in reproductive cells remains a controversial issue. This study was undertaken
to address the response of sperm, oocyte, and resultant blastocyst to dextran-coated SPIONs (D-SPIONs) treatment
during murine in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, murine mature oocytes were randomly divided into three groups:
control, and low- and high-dose groups in which fertilization medium was mixed with 0, 50 and 250 μg/ml of DSPIONs,
respectively. Sperm and/or cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured for 4 h in this medium for electron
microscopic analysis of sperm and COCs, and assessment of developmental competence and genes expression of
Gpx1, Sod1, catalase, Bcl2l1 and Bax in the resultant blastocysts.
Results: Ultrastructural study of sperm, oocyte, and granulosa showed destructed mitochondria and membranes in
spermatozoa, vacuolated mitochondria and distorted cristae in oocytes, and disrupted nuclei and disorganized cell
membranes in granulosa in a dose-dependent manner. Data showed that cleavage and blastocyst rates in the 250 μg/ml
of D-SPIONs were significantly lower than in the control group (p <0.05). Gene expression of GPx1, Sod1, catalase,
Bcl2l1 and Bax in resultant blastocysts of the high-dose group and catalase and Bax in resultant blastocysts of the
low-dose group, was higher than the controls.
Conclusion: There is considerable concern regarding D-SPIONs toxic effects on IVF, and mitochondrial and cell
membrane damage in mouse spermatozoa and oocytes, which may be related to oxidative stress and apoptotic events.