Sperm p53 concentration: a potential new biomarker for environmental pollution. Preliminary data.(EcoFoodFertility Project)

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Study question:We evaluated the p53 protein concentration in spermcells totest whether environmental pollution can affect expression levels of this protein.Summary answer:We found a significant difference in p53 levels betweentwo homogeneous groups by age and lifestyle, residents in two areas withdifferent environmental impact.What is known already:TheWorld HealthOrganization (WHO) has placedamong its priority objectives the understanding of the relationships between thesources of pollution and the effects on human health, which they represent acause of surprisingly high mortality and morbidity.International scientific literature shows that strong environmental impact mayjeopardize the stability and integrity of cellular DNA. This impairment can affectcellular functions, such as the uncontrolled growth of cells with the developmentof neoplastic process, until the final process of cell death (apoptosis). P53 seemsto play a key role in these mechanisms, as it coordinates cell fate.Study design, size, duration: 237 healthy males, 18-36 years old, wereobserved according to their stable residence in low environmental impactarea (LEIA) or High environmental impact area (HEIA) of the Campaniaregion (Southern Italy) in a period between July 2014 and June 2018. Thestudy group has been divided into Group A: 109 permanent residents inLEIA, aged 19 - 36 years; Group B: 128 permanent residents in HEIA, aged18 - 35 years.Participants/materials, setting, methods:All partecipants were no smokers,not habitual alcohol drinkers, no professionally exposed to environmentalpollutants, without varicoceles, prostatitis, urethritis or chronic diseases. Semenanalysis was assessed according standard criteria of WHO Manual, fifth edition(2010). All semen samples were examined 30 minutes after collection andimmediately processed for the p53 protein assay, using ELISA test, proposedby Raimondo et al. (2010)1. Quantitative dosage of p53 protein was expressedin ng / million of spermatozoa.Main results and the role of chance:We have observed not significantdifferences in ejaculate volume between group A and group B. About spermconcentration, 44,9% (40/109) of group A samples were normozoospermicwhile only 20,3% (26/128) of group B samples were normozoospermic. Thequantitative dosage of p53 protein has been corrected in relation to spermconcentration number and shows statistically significant differences betweentwo groups: group A had a minimum value of 0,29 ng/million of sperms anda maximum value of 4,05 ng/million of sperms, with a mean value of 1,74ng/million of sperms; group B had a minimum value of 0,69 ng/million ofsperms and a maximum value of 14,36 ng/ million of sperms, with a meanvalue of 6,45 ng/million of sperms.Statistical analysis of the two groups wasperformed using Fisher’s correlation and then Student’s test andwe obtained a p<0.0005.The differences observed in this study underlines the efficacy of quantitativedosage of p53 protein in identify a cell suffering due to environmentalpollution.Limitations, reasons for caution: This is a preliminary observationalstudy on a small number of samples. Reasons for caution could be due tounknown confounding factors.A large number of tests are need to confirm ourresults.Wider implications of the findings:p53 protein is well known as “guardianof the genome” for its key role in determining the fate of the cell following DNAdamage. Quantitative dosage of p53, seems to give valuable informations on thedegree of damage to sperm DNA by environmental pollution, suggesting it aspotential new biomarker.Trial registrati
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)186-186
Numero di pagine1
RivistaHuman Reproduction
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019


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