Expression of TRPV1 as A Heat Sensitive Voltage-Dependent Ion Channel and Oxidative Stress in Sperm Samples of Infertile Men with Varicocele: A Case-Control Study
Authors: Sahar Salahshouri; Fahimeh Akbarian; Marziyeh Tavalaee; Seyed Morteza Seifati; Mohammad Hossein Nasr Esfahani
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Objectives: Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a heat-activated nonselective cation channel that plays
important role in the spermatogenesis, capacitation, acrosome reaction and sperm/oocyte fusion. Considering the high
testicular temperature and oxidative stress in varicocele condition, we aimed to assess expression of TRPV1 in sperm
of infertile men.
Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, twenty-five men with varicocele (grade II and III) as well as twentyfive
fertile were recruited. Sperm parameters, protamine deficiency (Chromomycin A3), DNA damage (TUNEL), lipid
peroxidation (BODIPY), TRPV1 gene expression (real time polymerase chain reaction), TRPV1 protein (flowcytometry
and immunocytochemical techniques), and acrosome reaction were assessed between fertile and varicocele groups.
Results: We observed a significant decrease in the sperm parameters, and also, an increased DNA damage, lipid
peroxidation, and protamine deficiency in varicocele group. Although, the mRNA expression of TRPV1 was similar
between varicocele and fertile groups, its expression at the protein level was significantly decreased in the varicocele
group in comparison with fertile group. Additionally, the TRPV1 localization was changed from the equatorial region to
the acrosomal region of the head, especially in the acrosomal region, which was more significant in the fertile group
than the varicocele group after inducing acrosome reaction.
Conclusion: In addition to the quality of sperm parameters, and chromatin integrity that were lower significantly in
varicocele group, the expression of TRPV1 protein was also lower in varicocele condition that could be associated with
reduced capacitation, acrosome reaction and sperm/oocyte fusion and thereby infertility.