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29.05.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2018

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 6/2018

Associations between sperm quality, DNA damage, and CYP1A1, GSTT1 and GSTM1 polymorphisms with 1-hydroxypyrene urinary levels in men occupationally exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health > Ausgabe 6/2018
Rogelio Recio-Vega, Edgar Olivas-Calderon, Gladis Michel-Ramirez, Rebeca Isabel Martinez-Salinas, Martha Patricia Gallegos-Arreola, Guadalupe Leticia Ocampo-Gomez, Rebeca Perez-Morales



During recent decades, several reports have suggested a decrease in semen quality and DNA damage due in part to environmental toxicants and industrial chemicals. Among these xenobiotics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are of particular concern because of their remarkable mutagenic and carcinogenic properties and because several experimental and epidemiological studies have reported adverse effects of PAHs on male reproductive health and DNA structure. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) urinary levels and sperm quality, DNA damage and the frequency of CYP1A1, GSTT1, and GSTM1 polymorphisms.


Semen, urine and blood samples were taken for sperm-quality assessment, 1-OHP urinary level measurement, DNA damage evaluation and polymorphism frequency analysis of three genes implicated in PAH metabolism in a total of 70 Mexican subjects exposed and nonexposed to PAHs.


A significant decrease in sperm quality and increased DNA damage were registered in occupationally exposed volunteers. Polymorphisms modified the 1-OHP urinary levels; however, no associations were found between them. Inverse associations were registered between the sperm concentration/mL and 1-OHP levels and between tail lengths and the GSMT1 null genotype.


Our data showed an inverse association between 1-OHP urinary levels and both sperm quality and the DNA integrity. Additionally, the heterozygote variants of CYP1A1-m1 and CYP1A1-m2 significantly increased the urinary excretion of 1-OHP, and the GSTM1 null variant was inversely associated with the comet parameters evaluated.

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