Association of the serum metabolomic profile by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with sperm parameters: A cross-sectional study of 325 men

Karema Al Rashid, Amy E Taylor, Mary Ann Lumsden, Neil J Goulding, Debbie A Lawlor, Scott M Nelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether 155 circulating metabolic measures relevant to lifestyle and metabolic health are associated with sperm parameters, as measured by concentration, motility and total motile sperm count (TMSC). Study design: Cross-sectional. Setting: University Hospital. Patients: 325 men prospectively recruited between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2019. Intervention(s): Non-fasting serum lipids, lipoprotein subclasses, and low-molecular weight metabolites (including amino acids, glycolysis and inflammatory markers) were quantified by NMR spectroscopy. Detailed demographic, lifestyle, fertility and medical history and semen analysis. Main Outcome Measure(s): Associations of serum metabolic profiles with sperm parameters. Results: Participants were mean 37.2 (SD 5.7) years, with a median sperm concentration of 35 million/ml (IQR 15, 69) and median motility of 53% (IQR 42,67). 76% of men had a TMSC >15 Million, 10% 5-15 Million and 14% <5 Million. In both univariate and confounder adjusted analyses an extensive range of lipids and lipoproteins, glycolysis related metabolites, amino acids, ketone bodies, creatinine or albumin, did not show strong statistical evidence of associated with sperm concentration, motility, or the odds of having a reduced or low TMSC (all PBonferroni > 0.0029). Higher levels of glycolysis metabolites and ketone bodies were associated with increased odds of TMSC <15M compared with ≥15M (odds ratios of ~1.2 to 1.3), and several lipids/lipoprotein concentrations appeared to protect against very low TMSC (<5M compared with ≥5M) with odds ratios of ~0.8 or greater. Conclusion: Several metabolites exhibit potentially clinically relevant strength of association with the odds of a low TMSC and warrant replication.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFertility and Sterility
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • semen analysis
  • sperm
  • metabolomics

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