Xenobiotic activity in serum and sperm chromatin integrity in European and Inuit populations

Tanja Krüger, Marcello Spanò, Manhai Long, Patrizia Eleuteri, Michele Rescia, Philip S. Hjelmborg, Gian-Carlo Manicardi, Davide Bizzaro, Alexander Giwercman, Gunnar Toft, Jens Peter Bonde, Eva C. Bonefeld-Jorgensen

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Lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are ubiquitous in the environment and suspected to interfere with hormone activities and reproduction. In previous studies we demonstrated that POP exposure can affect sperm DNA integrity and differences between Inuits and Europeans in sperm DNA integrity and xenobiotic activity were observed. The aim of this study was to investigate possible relations between human sperm chromatin integrity and the xenobiotic serum activity of lipophilic POPs assessed as effects on the estrogen (ER), androgen (AR), and/or aryl hydrocarbon (AhR) receptors. Human sperm chromatin integrity was assessed as DNA fragmentation index (%DFI) and high DNA stainability (%HDS) using the flow cytometric sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). Xenobiotic receptor activities were determined using chemically activated luciferase gene expression (CALUX) assay. The study included 53 Greenlandic Inuits and 247 Europeans (Sweden, Warsaw (Poland) and Kharkiv (Ukraine)). A heterogeneous pattern of correlations was found. For Inuits, ER and AhR activities and %DFI were inversely correlated, whereas a positive correlation between AR activity and %DFI was found for Europeans. In contrast, no correlation between receptor activities and %HDS was observed for Inuits but for Europeans positive and negative correlations were observed between ER and AR activities and %HDS, respectively. We suggest that the different patterns of xenobiotic serum activities, in combination with diet associated factors and/or genetics, might be connected to the observed differences in sperm chromatin integrity between the lnuits and Europeans. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669 - 680
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Krüger, T., Spanò, M., Long, M., Eleuteri, P., Rescia, M., Hjelmborg, P. S., ... Bonefeld-Jorgensen, E. C. (2008). Xenobiotic activity in serum and sperm chromatin integrity in European and Inuit populations. Molecular Reproduction and Development, 75(4), 669 - 680. https://doi.org/10.1002/mrd.20747