Assessment of Adiponectin and Sperm Function Parameters in Obese and Non-Obese: A Comprehensive Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Saint Maryam Fertility and Infertility Center, Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


The role of adiponectin in sperm function is inconclusive and there is a paucity of evidence. Obesity shows
an ambiguous influence on sperm motility, and male subfertility. The aim of this study was to compare the role of
adiponectin and sperm functional parameters among obese and non-obese men.

Materials and Methods
In this comprehensive study, 64 male patients were included, and were classified as
non-obese [body mass index (BMI)< 24.9 kg/m2, n=32] and obese (BMI >25 kg/m2, n=32) groups. Sperm analysis,
was conducted using World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 standards. Real-time polymerase chain reaction
(PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used for the analysis of adiponectin gene expression
and protein levels, respectively. Sperm viability was assessed using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-
diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT test), Acridine orange (AO) test was utilized to detect DNA denaturation, and
sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) technique was used to investigate the fragmentation of DNA.

In obese men, adiponectin gene expression (P<0.0001) and protein levels (P<0.001) were significantly lower
compared to the non-obese group. Additionally, sperm motility, was significantly lower in the obese group. The rapid
progressive (RP) motility was less in obese men in comparison to the non-obese group (P<0.001). Sperm count
and morphology were not significantly different in the two groups. DNA denaturation and DNA fragmentation were
significantly more frequent in the obese group than in non-obese men (P<0.05) and (P<0.01), respectively. The obese
men showed significantly lower sperm viability compared to the non-obese group (P<0.05).

This study showed no significant correlation between the evaluated variables (sperm parameter, sperm
viability, DNA fragmentation and integrity), and obesity in men. Based on these results, adiponectin may potentially play
positive role in sperm function for acquiring fertility.


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