Resistin interleukin 6 tumor necrosis factor alpha and human semen parameters in the presence of leukocytospermia smoking habit and varicocele

Semen resistin is correlated with inflammatory cytokines and sperm quality; in cases of leukocytospermia and smoking habits, conditions with an inflammatory basis, the concentrations of resistin are increased.

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Elena Moretti, Ph.D., Giulia Collodel, Ph.D., Lucia Mazzi, Ph.D., MariaStella Campagna, Ph.D., Francesca Iacoponi, Ph.D., Natale Figura, Ph.D., M.D.

Volume 102, Issue 2, Pages 354–360



To explore the relationships between resistin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and semen parameters, sperm apoptosis, and necrosis in infertile patients and in control subjects with unknown reproductive potential with/without smoking habits, leukocytospermia, and varicocele.


Prospective study.


Sperm laboratory.


A total of 110 selected men.


Family history, clinical/physical examination, ELISA determination (resistin, IL-6, TNF-α), semen analysis, annexin V/propidium iodide assay.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Relationships among resistin, IL-6, and TNF-α and semen parameters in the presence of smoking habits, varicocele, leukocytospermia, and in infertile subjects.


Resistin level was higher in semen than in serum. Resistin semen levels showed negative correlations with sperm motility and positive correlations with apoptotic, necrotic sperm and TNF-α and IL-6 levels. Resistin, TNF-α, and IL-6 levels were higher in smokers compared with nonsmokers and in cases with leukocytospermia, in which an increase in necrotic sperm and a decrease in the number of sperm with normal morphology and motility were observed. Cytokine levels were significantly higher in infertile patients compared with control subjects with unknown reproductive potential. A total of 74.5% of infertile patients showed leukocytospermia.


Semen resistin correlated with IL-6, TNF-α, and sperm quality; in cases of leukocytospermia and smoking habits, resistin concentrations were increased, suggesting that resistin may play a regulatory role in inflammation of the male reproductive system.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.