ANDROLOGIA, vol.53, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
The aim of the study was to investigate whether the promoter methylation of XRCC1 and ERCC2 genes is associated with sperm DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation in idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermic men. This study involved 77 infertile men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia and 51 normozoospermic controls. The methylight method, TUNEL assay and aniline blue staining were used for the evaluation of XRCC1 and ERCC2 genes' methylation, SDF and sperm chromatin condensation, respectively. SDF (p = .004) and XRCC1 methylation (p = .0056) were found to be significantly higher in men with idiopathic OAT than in the controls, while mature spermatozoa frequency was higher in controls as compared to infertile men (p < .0001). No significant association was found between SDF and methylation of XRCC1 and ERCC2 genes (p = .9277 and p = .8257, respectively). However, compared to the cut-off point obtained by receiver operating characteristic analysis, a significant association was found between SDF and XRCC1 methylation, positive and negative methylation groups, generated according to the cut-off value for XRCC1. XRCC1 methylation was found to have a significant effect on chromatin condensation (p = .0017). No significant difference was detected among ERCC2 methylation, male infertility and SDF. In conclusion, XRCC1 methylation may have a role in sperm chromatin condensation and idiopathic OAT.