Myeloperoxidase and lactoferrin expression in semen fluid: Novel markers of male infertility risk?

Claudia Omes, Mara De Amici, Veronica Tomasoni, Federica Todaro, Cristina Torre, Rossella E. Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research Question: Infections and/or inflammation processes of male genital tract are highly prevalent and often associated with risk of infertility. These conditions represent a possible cause of leukocytospermia, which is still under debate. Leukocytes are key-factors to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the increase of ROS in semen fluid is associated with the worsening of semen parameters. At present, there are not appropriate andrological tests to identify asymptomatic inflammatory conditions when the amount of leukocytes is in the normal range. Design: We studied the innate immunity profile of myeloperoxidase and lactoferrin (MPO/LAC) proteins expressed in the semen fluid of 39 men evaluated for couple infertility, in the absence of leukocytospermia. Results: The presence of both MPO and LAC proteins was associated with a decrease of sperm concentration and of progressive/total motility, whereas the increase of MPO-/LAC + indicated a worse sperm morphology. It is worth to report the predictive potential of MPO+/LAC + pattern (above 4.36 %) as a biological marker to distinguish normozoospermic from pathological patients. Conclusion: Our findings indicate MPO/LAC analysis as a potential diagnostic tool to identify asymptomatic conditions eventually related to male infertility, even when the number of leukocytes in semen fluid is below 1 million/mL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151999
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Lactoferrin
  • Male infertility
  • Myeloperoxidase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Semen fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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