Objective: To investigate the influences of mobile phone radiation on the quality and DNA methylation of human sperm in vitro.
Methods: According to the fifth edition of the WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Semen, we randomly selected 97 male volunteers with normal semen parameters and divided each semen sample from the subjects into two equal parts, one exposed to mobile phone radiation at 1950 M Hz, SAR3. 0 W/kg for 3 hours while the other left untreated as the control. We obtained routine semen parameters as well as the acrosomal reaction ability, apoptosis and DNA methylation of sperm, and compared them between the two groups.
Results: Compared with the control, the radiation group showed significantly decreased progressive sperm motility ([36.64 ± 16.93] vs [27.56 ± 16.92]%, P < 0.01) and sperm viability ([63.72 ± 16.35] vs [54.31 ± 17.35]%, P < 0.01) and increased sperm head defects ([69.92 ± 4.46] vs [71.17 ± 4.89]%, P < 0.05), but no significant differences in sperm acrosomal reaction ([66.20 ± 6.75] vs [64.50 ± 3.47]%, P > 0.05). The early apoptosis rate of sperm cells was remarkably higher in the radiation group ([6.89 ± 9.84]%) than in the control ([4.44 ± 5.89]%) (P < 0.05). However, no statistically significant differences were found between the control and radiation groups in the DNA methylation patterns of the paternal imprinting gene H19 ICR ([0.60 ± 0.02] vs [1.40 ± 0.03]%, P > 0.05) or the maternal imprinting gene KvDMR1 ([0.00 ± 0.00] vs [1.80 ± 0.031%, P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Mobile phone radiation reduces the progressive motility and viability of human sperm and increases sperm head defects and early apoptosis of sperm cells.