The Role of TNF-α and Its Target HSP-70 in Triggering Apoptosis in Normozoospermic and Non-Normozoospermic Samples

KARABULUT S., Gürsoy Gürgen D., Kutlu P., KESKİN İ.

Biopreservation and Biobanking, vol.20, no.6, pp.485-492, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/bio.2021.0056
  • Journal Name: Biopreservation and Biobanking
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.485-492
  • Keywords: Infertility, TNF-alpha, HSP-70, Caspase-3, apoptosis, immunolocation
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Semen analysis is performed as one of the screening tests for infertility, including motility, morphology, and concentration observation. We aimed to investigate the expression rates of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and heat shock protein (HSP)-70 as two opposite affectors of apoptosis in men with normal semen parameters and abnormal parameters to find the possible effect of this pathway on sperm parameters. We also aimed to investigate the apoptotic markers (DNA fragmentation and Caspase-3 expression) to observe the correlation of this pathway with apoptosis. Materials and Methods: A total of 32 men who applied for infertility evaluation were included in the study. Semen analysis was performed according to WHO criteria. Liquefaction time, appearance, volume, pH, viscosity, sperm concentration, total motility rate, sperm motility, and percentage of spermatozoa with normal morphology were determined. TNF-α, HSP-70, and Caspase-3 immunolocalization were scored histologically. A sperm chromatin dispersion test was used to observe DNA fragmentation. Results: There was no significant difference in TNF-α protein expression rate (mild level). The HSP-70 expression rate was lower, especially in the head region of normo. Caspase-3 was higher totally in non-normo. DNA fragmentation levels were similar in both the groups. Conclusion: From TNF-α protein expression at the mild level in both the groups, it may be hypothesized that the apoptotic pathway might not be triggered by the extrinsic pathway. We found a negative correlation between HSP-70 and Caspase-3 expressions, providing further evidence that HSP-70 works as an inhibitor to apoptosis. This, particularly on specific points, made us think the communication might begin in the anterior chamber, then flow through the cell body to the tail. HSP-70 expression was lower in normo than in non-normo, indicating the possible role of HSP-70 as an answer to any type of stressor in non-normozoospermic patients. Correspondingly, it may be concluded that HSP has an antiapoptotic effect, causing inhibition in the elimination of abnormal sperm cells impairing sperm parameters.