Ftir spectroscopy to reveal lipid and protein changes induced on sperm by capacitation: Bases for an improvement of sample selection in art

Maria Pachetti, Luisa Zupin, Irene Venturin, Elisa Mitri, Rita Boscolo, Francesco D’amico, Lisa Vaccari, Sergio Crovella, Giuseppe Ricci, Lorella Pascolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although being a crucial step for Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) success, to date sperm selection is based only on morphology, motility and concentration characteristics. Considering the many possible alterations, there is a great need for analytical approaches allowing more effective sperm selections. The use of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) may represent an interesting possibility, being able to reveal many macromolecular changes in a single measurement in a nondestructive way. As a proof of concept, in this observational study, we used a FTIR approach to reveal features related to sperm quality and chemical changes promoted by in vitro capacitation. We found indication that α-helix content is increased in capacitated sperm, while high percentages of the β-structures seem to correlate to poor-quality spermatozoa. The most interesting observation was related to the lipid composition, when measured as CH2 /CH3 vibrations (ratio 2853/2870), which resulted in being strongly influenced by capacitation and well correlated with sperm motility. Interestingly, this ratio is higher than 1 in infertile samples, suggesting that motility is related to sperm membranes stiffness and lipid composition. Although further analyses are requested, our results support the concept that FTIR can be proposed as a new smart diagnostic tool for semen quality assessment in ART.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8659
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2020

Keywords

  • FTIR
  • Infertility
  • Lipids
  • Sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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