OPN, a multifunctional protein, is considered to play a significant role in a variety of biological processes in bone resorption, immune cell activation, inhibiting vascular calcification, and extracellular matrix remodeling 15,16. Expression of OPN has been characteristically observed in different pathological conditions and pathophysiological responses 4. In female factor fertility, OPN, αvβ3 integrin complex, was proposed to distinguish receptive from nonreceptive endometrium and its apparent reduced expression, important in cell–cell adhesion, during the window of implantation in infertile women with isolated polycystic ovary 17,18.
This is the first study to assess OPN in human seminal fluid. In the current study, seminal OPN, MDA was demonstrated to be significantly increased and seminal GPx was significantly decreased in the infertile men compared fertile participants. In addition, seminal OPN showed a significant negative correlation with sperm count, sperm motility, seminal GPx and a significant positive correlation with sperm abnormal forms, seminal MDA. Different studies reported insufficient antioxidant enzymes and increased seminal OS to be generally attributed to the risk of decreasing semen quality 23,24. Georgiadou et al.25 and Irita et al.4 reported an inverse relation between the presence of OPN and OS.
Infertile men with Vx showed a significant increase in seminal OPN compared with infertile men without Vx and in healthy fertile men compared with fertile men without Vx, indicating that Vx is an additional factor that decreases seminal OPN. A variety of inflammatory mediators and growth factors, including IL-1 and TNF-α, were shown to stimulate OPN transcription, often through activation of protein kinase C 26. Moretti et al.27 detected significantly higher levels of inflammatory mediators in Vx-associated cases, inducing an inflammatory effect, which could play a detrimental role in spermatogenesis, indicated by a decrease in sperm motility and the fertility index, concomitant with increased sperm immaturity.
Furthermore, different studies have reported increased seminal OS in Vx-associated cases 28,29. In addition, a significant increase in seminal OPN in infertile men with Vx could be associated with increases in different unstable, potentially toxic products such as superoxide anion, free radical activity, and inflammatory mediators prevalent in the semen of Vx-associated cases 5,30–32.
Seminal OPN is significantly increased in infertile OAT men associated with Vx. Seminal OPN showed a positive correlation with seminal MDA and abnormal sperm forms and a significant negative correlation with sperm count, sperm motility, and seminal GPx.
There are no conflicts of interest.
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