AB229. Effect of berberine on human sperm parameters in vitro
Printed Abstracts

AB229. Effect of berberine on human sperm parameters in vitro

Liping Chen, Tao Wang, Jihong Liu

Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China


Objective: Berberine is a natural compound isolated from plants with multiple pharmacological activities, like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The present study was to assess the effect of berberine with different concentration and at different time on sperm motility, viability and sperm membrane integrity of humans.

Methods: Semen samples were obtained from 30 patients (22–30 years of age) enrolled in this study, 15 of which were normospermic and 15 were asthenozoospermic. Semen were aseptically obtained by masturbation and prepared by swim-up method. After that they were incubated in Ham’s F-10 medium for 30 min at 37 °C to mimic the temperature inside the female reproductive tract. Semen samples were divided into aliquots. The negative control condition was supplemented with no drugs while 0.4 mmol/L L-carnitine was used as positive control condition. The treatment condition was supplemented with berberine at a concentration of 10-4, 10-5, 10-6, 10-7 mol/L. Measurements of sperm viability and motility were carried out at 10, 30, 60 and 120 min after incubation in all semen samples by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA).

Results: It showed that in both normal and asthenozoospermic samples, total and progressive sperm motility were maintained by in vitro treatment with berberine, whereas a significant decrease of these parameters occurred in parallel samples incubated in medium alone. Berberine also prevented the decrease of sperm kinetics but such an effect was highly significant only in asthenozoospermic samples. Moreover, berberine had similar effort as L-carnitine even at low concentration.

Conclusions: In vitro, berberine with suitable concentration exerted a direct protective effect on human sperm viability, motility rate and could modify plasma membrane functional integrity, especially in the asthenozoospermic patients. This could be a novel therapeutic drug for improving the function of sperm in vitro and treatment for male infertility.

Keywords: Berberine; sperm; infertility; in vitro


doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.s229


Cite this abstract as: Chen L, Wang T, Liu J. Effect of berberine on human sperm parameters in vitro. Transl Androl Urol 2016;5(Suppl 1):AB229. doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.s229

Article Options

Download Citation