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Advances in Urology
Volume 2013, Article ID 578631, 8 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Chromatin Maturity in Human Spermatozoa: Useful Aniline Blue Assay for Routine Diagnosis of Male Infertility

1Histology-Embryology-Biology of Reproduction Laboratory, Medical School, Sfax 3029, Tunisia
2Histology Embryology Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Medical School, Sfax 3029, Tunisia
3Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department, Hedi Chaker Academic Hospital, Sfax 3029, Tunisia

Received 17 June 2013; Accepted 3 September 2013

Academic Editor: Axel S. Merseburger

Copyright © 2013 Afifa Sellami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During spermatogenesis, sperm chromatin undergoes structural changes and results in a high condensation. This nuclear compaction would be useful as a predictor of sperm fertilization capacity and pregnancy outcome. We purpose to evaluate firstly the relationship among chromatin maturity assessed by aniline blue staining (AB) and the semen parameters in infertile men. Secondly, we analyzed whether the sperm gradient density centrifugation is effective to select mature spermatozoa. Fifty-one ejaculates were investigated by semen analysis and stained for chromatin condensation with AB to distinguish between unstained mature sperm and stained immature sperm. AB was applied also on 12 ejaculates which proceeded by density gradient centrifugation to compare the rates of immature sperm before and after selection. Neat semen were divided into two groups: G1 ( ): immature sperm <20% and G2 ( ): immature sperm ≥20%. No significant differences were detected in sperm concentration, motility, and normal morphology between G1 and G2. However, the rates of some morphology abnormalities were higher in G2: head abnormalities ( ) and microcephalic sperm ( ). We founded significant correlation between sperm immaturity and acrosome abnormalities ( ; ). Sperm selection has significantly reduced the rates of immature sperm. A better understanding of chromatin structure and its impact on the sperm potential is needed to explore male infertility.