Apoptosis in short-term biopsy cultures of human testis exposed to VDT-EMF radiation
Tritto G. (1), M. Chalier, Laverdure, A.M., and J. Surbeck

(1) *MD, Chairman in Surgical Andrology, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, France
Faculty Professor in Microsurgery, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
President International Association of Sciences and Technologies in Andrology – IASTA
Personal e-mail:

Presented at the 27th International Congress on Occupational Health (ICOH 2003), Iguassu Falls, Brazil, 23-28 February 2003, FP 39.10., p.139

Final Programme / Abstract Book

AIMS: Temperature and environmental effects, particularly endocrine disrupters and EMF radiation, are actively investigated in human and non-human reproduction experimental models.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human testicular biopsies from thermically impaired and not impaired testes are exposed to VDT-EMF (Video Display Terminal- Electro-Magnetic Field) radiation at 32C for 24 hrs on specific culture medium. NMR Spectroscopy metabolic scales of activity are obtained in relation to the specific histopathological scores.

RESULTS: Sensitivity and specificity of the different cell types of the testes seminiferous tubules in humans are evaluated, showing a specific responsiveness of spermatogonia (SPG) and resting pachytene spermatocytes (SPC). A normal human testis biopsy show a low occurrence of apoptotic SPG (1%) that increases to 3,4% in peer samples exposed to VDT for the same period, with the appearance of apoptotic SPC (4,6%). In samples from a thermically-impaired testis of the same subject the apoptotic occurence of SPG is 2.6% with 15.4% for SPC after 24h of culture. After a 24h exposure to VDT, the apoptotic score is 7.6% for SPG and 18.5% for SPC in thermically impaired peer samples. With EMF-Bioshields the apoptotic score for SPG is 0.8% in normal and 2.2% for SPG and 13.8% for SPC in T-impaired peer-samples. NMRS of the culture fluids show a proportional production of lactate, corresponding to the different degrees of histopathological impairment of the samples. To evaluate the thermic and non-thermic potential bioeffects of VDT on human spermatogenesis the specificity, the sensitivity and the reproducibility of the biological models on one side and the specificity of the methodologies on the other side must be provided.

CONCLUSION: The complexity of the observations on thermically impaired, not-impaired and repaired testes on in vitro cultures of bioptic samples is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the biological models and to the analytical tools used to investigate the thermic and not-thermic effects from VDT-EMF radiation. The temperature-sensitive experimental conditions related to the thermoregulation of the human spermatogenesis represent a key-point to reveal potential bioeffects at minimal levels. Sophisticated and specifically dedicated techniques of analysis introduce new parameters of measurements, unevaluated before in experimental models of male reproduction for VDT-EMF exposure.

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