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Careful attention has been focused recently on DNA quality in human IVF. Therefore a variety of methods has been developed to evaluate DNA integrity, especially concerning fragmentation. Using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) for our best sperm samples, we have established reference values for several oxidative lesions, in order to gain insights into the cause of DNA lesions. Besides 8-oxodeoxyguanosine, we found rather high levels of two ethenonucleosides: 1,N6-ethenoadenosine and 1,N2-ethenoguanosine. These compounds probably arise from a reaction with 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, the main aldehyde compound released during lipid peroxidation, or after occupational exposure to vinyl chloride. The quantity of chlorinated bases detected is low. All of this decay has to be repaired by the oocytes at the time of fertilization or immediately after. This aspect should not be overlooked in assisted reproductive technology, in order to understand risks and limitations.
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