Evaluation of sperm DNA structure, fragmentation and decondensation: an essential tool in the assessment of male infertility

Yves Menezo, Patrice Clement, Edouard Amar


The intrinsic primordial role of the oocyte in contributing to successful embryogenesis must first be considered and acknowledged. Capacity for DNA repair in the oocyte is important, but is finite and decreases with age. Multiple DNA decays related to oxidation, abasic sites, base modifications, mismatches and strand breaks can be repaired within the oocyte, but it is poorly equipped to deal with nucleus decondensation and tertiary structure anomalies (1). For this reason, defects in the decondensation of the sperm nucleus can have serious consequences during embryogenesis.