eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 40
Clinical immunology

Cytokines in the blood and semen of infertile patients

Anna Havrylyuk
Valentyna Chopyak
Yaryna Boyko
Iryna Kril
Maciej Kurpisz

(Cent Eur J Immunol 2015; 40 (3): 337-344)
Online publish date: 2015/10/15
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Cytokines have been important mediators of the immunity and can be involved in numerous processes in the male genital tract including acting as immunomodulatory elements within the male gonad.

The aims of this study were: 1) to detect pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in the control group and subgroups of infertile men; and 2) to set up the practical recommendations concerning determination of cytokine levels for the male infertility diagnosis.

Observations were performed in a group of 82 men: healthy controls (n = 27) and infertile patients (n = 55). The male infertility group was further subdivided into patients with: varicocele (n = 22), idiopathic infertility (n = 13) and partners of couples with recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA; n = 20). Semen analysis was determined following WHO criteria. The cytokine interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10, IL-18; tumor necrosis factor  (TNF-), interferon γ (IFN-γ) and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) contents in serum and seminal plasma were determined by quantitative ELISA.

An interesting marker of male infertility appears to be TGF-β1 (blood) significantly elevated in idiopathically infertile males and in the RSA group. Besides elevated TGF-β1 in a group of idiopathic infertility significantly elevated IL-10, IL-18, IFN-γ (blood) and statistically decreased IL-1β while increased IFN-γ were revealed in seminal plasma compared to healthy controls.

We may postulate novel cytokine micropatterns for patients with different background of infertility. Therefore, circulating cytokines: IL-1β IL-10, IL-18, TGF-β1, IFN-γ and IL-1β, IFN-γ and TGF-β1 in seminal plasma should be extended in evaluation of specific types of male infertility.

circulating cytokines, seminal plasma cytokines, male infertility

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