Comparative Effect of Photobiomodulation on Human Semen Samples Pre- and Post-Cryopreservation

Reprod Sci. 2022 May;29(5):1463-1470. doi: 10.1007/s43032-021-00805-x. Epub 2022 Mar 11.


The primary objective of this study is to evaluate and to compare the effects of photobiomodulation (PBM) on sperm parameters both before and after cryopreservation. In this regard, 24 freshly ejaculated semen samples from normozoospermic men were included in this study. Each semen sample was randomly divided into three groups (1 ml aliquot for each group): the control group (group one) underwent conventional sperm cryopreservation (n = 24), group two underwent pre-freezing PBM exposure (810 nm, diode laser, and 0.6 J/cm2) (n = 24), and group three underwent post freezing and thawing PBM exposure (n = 24). Indicators of sperm quality, including total sperm motility (TSM), progressive sperm motility (PSM), DNA fragmentation, lipid peroxidation levels, apoptosis-like changes, and gene expression levels of protamine (PRM) 1, PRM2, and adducin 1 alpha (ADD1), were investigated in a blinded style. Due to the beneficial effect of pre-freezing PBM therapy, group 2 exhibited the highest TSM and PSM levels compared to groups 1 and 3. At the same time, DNA fragmentation and lipid peroxidation were significantly reduced in the group 2 compared to the group 1 (p = 0.024 p = 0.016, respectively). Evaluation of apoptotic/necrotic changes revealed that parameters including early apoptosis, dead, and necrotic cells decreased in the group 2 compared to the either groups 1 (p = 0. 008, p = 0. 032, p = 0. 02, respectively) or group 3 (p = 0.037, p = 0.108, p = 0.083). There were no significant differences in the expression levels of PRM1, PRM2, and ADD1 among the study groups. Based on our results, PBM therapy prior to cryopreservation, even in the normal semen samples, plays a significant protective role against cryo-damage by preserving the functional parameters of spermatozoa.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Cryo damage; Cryopreservation; Oxidative stress; Photobiomodulation; Semen analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cryopreservation / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Semen Analysis
  • Semen Preservation*
  • Semen*
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa