The Effects of Microgravity on Human Sperm
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03760783|
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 30, 2018
Last Update Posted : February 12, 2020
It has been described that microgravity affects cellular and molecular structures. Cell membrane, cytoskeleton, cytoplasm and nucleus have been found to be sensible to gravitational changes. Alterations in the male and female reproductive systems have also been reported in mouse and other animals. The effects of microgravity on human reproductive cells remain unknown.
The main objective of this experimental study is to investigate the effect of simulated microgravity in human male reproductive cells under in vitro conditions. Induced microgravity conditions will be obtained with a smaller single-engine aerobatic aircraft that can provide parabolic flights.
The main parameters to be analyzed are: sperm motility, vitality, DNA fragmentation and apoptosis.
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Semen Quality||Other: Parabolic flight||Not Applicable|
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Estimated Enrollment :||30 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Single Group Assignment|
|Masking:||None (Open Label)|
|Official Title:||The Effects of Microgravity on Human Sperm|
|Actual Study Start Date :||November 20, 2018|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date :||April 30, 2021|
|Estimated Study Completion Date :||September 15, 2021|
Effect of microgravity on human sperm
Simulated microgravity flight
Other: Parabolic flight
Sperm analysis (total motility M/ml; grade a+b sperm M/ml, vitality, DNA Frag and apoptosis) will be measured on ground at 1g before the flight and after flight were sperm samples have been exposed to simulated microgravity
- Change in Sperm motility [ Time Frame: In earth gravity g=1(<4 hours before Parabolic flight) and after simulated microgravity exposure (<4 hours Post Parabolic Flight) ]The percentage of normal spermatozoa in terms of motility grades a,b,c according to WHO
- Change Sperm Morphology [ Time Frame: In earth gravity g=1(<4 hours before Parabolic flight) and after simulated microgravity exposure (<4 hours Post Parabolic Flight) ]The percentage of normal spermatozoa in terms of morphology is assessed by staining. The lower reference limit for normal forms is 4% (WHO 2010).
- Change Sperm Vitality [ Time Frame: In earth gravity g=1(<4 hours before Parabolic flight) and after simulated microgravity exposure (<4 hours Post Parabolic Flight) ]The percentage of live spermatozoa is assessed by identifying those with an intact cell membrane, from dye exclusion. The lower reference limit for vitality (membrane-intact spermatozoa) is 58% (WHO 2010).
- Change in Sperm DNA Fragmentation [ Time Frame: In earth gravity g=1(<4 hours before Parabolic flight) and after simulated microgravity exposure (<4 hours Post Parabolic Flight) ]
Sperm DNA fragmentation is evaluated by Halosperm® kit, based on the SCD technique, patented by Halotech. This kit is based on a controlled DNA denaturation process to facilitate the subsequent removal of the proteins contained in each spermatozoon. In this way, normal spermatozoa create halos formed by loops of DNA at the head of the sperm, which are not present in those with damaged DNA.
Thresholds for frequency of Sperm DNA Fragmentation (SDF) have been suggested by Dr. Evenson et al. (Evenson and Nixon, Reprod Biomed Online 12:466-472, 2006). The authors reported that couples with no known infertility problems were more likely to achieve a pregnancy/delivery if the DNA fragmentation index (DFI) was <30%.
- Change Sperm APOPTOSIS (Annexin V ) [ Time Frame: In earth gravity g=1(<4 hours before Parabolic flight) and after simulated microgravity exposure (<4 hours Post Parabolic Flight) ]
Annexin V recognizes an antigen (externalized phosphatidylserine, EPS) in the plasma membrane of apoptotic cells. Apoptotic cell depletion begins with the magnetic labeling of apoptotic cells by the MACS® ART Annexin V Reagent. The labeled cells are then passed through a separation column located in a fixed magnetic field. Unwanted cells are selectively retained in the column. Living spermatozoa are not labeled by the reagent, so they pass through the column and are collected for later use.
In our study, after collecting living spermatozoa we also collected the retained apoptotic spermatozoa for comparing the concentration (M/ml) of apoptotic vs no apoptotic cells.
To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03760783
|Contact: Montserrat Boada, PhD||+34 email@example.com|
|Women's Health Dexeus Departament d'Obstetrícia, Ginecologia i Reproducció||Recruiting|
|Barcelona, Spain, 08028|
|Contact: Montserrat Boada, PhD +34 932294700 firstname.lastname@example.org|