DNA Methylation in Offspring Conceived after Assisted Reproductive Techniques: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Cannarella, R, Crafa, A, Mongioì, LM, Leggio, L, Iraci, N, La Vignera, S, Condorelli, RA, Calogero, AE
Journal of clinical medicine. 2022;(17)
Background: In the last 40 years, assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) have emerged as potentially resolving procedures for couple infertility. This study aims to evaluate whether ART is associated with epigenetic dysregulation in the offspring. Methods. To accomplish this, we collected all available data on methylation patterns in offspring conceived after ART and in spontaneously conceived (SC) offspring. Results. We extracted 949 records. Of these, 50 were considered eligible; 12 were included in the quantitative synthesis. Methylation levels of H19 CCCTC-binding factor 3 (CTCF3) were significantly lower in the ART group compared to controls (SMD -0.81 (-1.53; -0.09), I2 = 89%, p = 0.03). In contrast, H19 CCCTC-binding factor 6 (CTCF6), Potassium Voltage-Gated Channel Subfamily Q Member 1 (KCNQ1OT1), Paternally-expressed gene 3 (PEG3), and Small Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Polypeptide N (SNRPN) were not differently methylated in ART vs. SC offspring. Conclusion: The methylation pattern of the offspring conceived after ART may be different compared to spontaneous conception. Due to the lack of studies and the heterogeneity of the data, further prospective and well-sized population studies are needed to evaluate the impact of ART on the epigenome of the offspring.
Beneficial Effects of the Very-Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet on the Symptoms of Male Accessory Gland Inflammation.
Condorelli, RA, Aversa, A, Basile, L, Cannarella, R, Mongioì, LM, Cimino, L, Perelli, S, Caprio, M, Cimino, S, Calogero, AE, et al
Introduction. Obesity exposes individuals to the risk of chronic inflammation of the prostate gland. Aim and design of the study. A longitudinal clinical study was conducted on selected overweight/obese patients with male accessory gland inflammation (MAGI) to evaluate the effects of body weight loss on their urogenital symptoms. Materials and methods. One hundred patients were selected and assigned to two groups undergoing two different nutritional programs. The first group (n = 50) started a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the second (n = 50) a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD). Before and after three months on the diet, each patient was evaluated for body weight, waist circumference, and MAGI symptoms. The MAGI was assessed using the Structured Interview about MAGI (SI-MAGI), a questionnaire previously designed to assess the symptoms of MAGI. The questionnaire explores four domains, including urinary symptoms, ejaculatory pain or discomfort, sexual dysfunction, and impaired quality of life. Finally, in the two groups, the frequency of an α-blocker used to treat urinary tract symptoms was also evaluated. Results. Patients on MedDiet experienced significant amelioration in urinary symptoms and quality of life. Patients under VLCKD reported not only significant improvement of the same parameters, but also in ejaculatory pain/discomfort and sexual dysfunction. Finally, the percentage of patients on VLCKD taking the α-blocker decreased significantly. Moreover, patients under VLCKD showed a greater loss of body weight than those following the MedDiet. Discussion. The results of this study support the effectiveness of VLCKD in improving the symptoms of patients with MAGI. This improvement involved all of the domains of the SI-MAGI questionnaire and became manifest in a relatively short time. We suggest that a ketogenic nutritional approach can be used in overweight/obese patients with MAGI.
Advances in non-hormonal pharmacotherapy for the treatment of male infertility: the role of inositols.
Condorelli, RA, Cannarella, R, Crafa, A, Barbagallo, F, Gusmano, C, Avola, O, Mongioì, LM, Basile, L, Calogero, AE, La Vignera, S
Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy. 2022;(9):1081-1090
INTRODUCTION Several antioxidants are available for the treatment of male infertility. Although the benefit of myo-inositol (MYO) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI) for female infertility is recognized, their role in male infertility is a matter of debate. AREAS COVERED The authors review the impact that treatment with MYO and/or DCI may have on conventional and bio-functional sperm parameters [mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), sperm chromatin compactness, and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF)], seminal oxidative stress (OS), and pregnancy, miscarriage, and live birth rates, and the possible mechanisms involved. Furthermore, the authors gather evidence on the effects of MYO and/or DCI on sperm function in vitro. EXPERT OPINION MYO can improve sperm count, motility, capacitation, acrosome reaction, and MMP. No data are currently available on the effects of DCI in vivo. Both MYO and DCI ameliorate sperm motility and MMP in vitro. Therefore, the use of inositols should be preferred in patients with idiopathic asthenozoospermia, especially in case of impaired sperm mitochondrial function. Due to their insulin-sensitizing action, a role for these molecules may be envisaged for the treatment of infertility caused by carbohydrate metabolism derangement.
Resistance to Thyroid Hormones: A Case-Series Study.
Cannarella, R, Musmeci, M, Garofalo, V, Timpanaro, TA, Leone, G, Caruso, M, Maltese, PE, Condorelli, RA, La Vignera, S, Calogero, AE
International journal of molecular sciences. 2022;(19)
The aim of the study is to describe the clinical features of two unrelated patients with resistance to thyroid hormones (RTH), the first, a total thyroidectomized patient, and the second, a pregnant woman. We report the features found in her newborn who also showed RTH. Patient 1 is a 38-year-old man with total thyroidectomy managed for excessive thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) production, which poorly responded to the replacement therapy. He was found with a THRβ c.1378G>A p.(Glu460Lys) heterozygous mutation, which was also present in other members of his family (son, brother, and father). Interestingly, Patient 1 had hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hepatic steatosis, which have been recently suggested as RTH-related comorbidities. Patient 2 is a 32-year-old pregnant woman with multinodular goiter, and the THRβ heterozygous variant c.959G>C, that, to the best of our knowledge, has been reported in literature only once. Her newborn had tachycardia and increased thyroid hormone levels, and showed the same mutation. After delivery, high parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium serum levels were found in Patient 2 and the scintigraphy showed the presence of adenoma of a parathyroid gland. This case-series study provides a practical example of the management of RTH in a thyroidectomized patient, a pregnant woman, and a newborn. A novel RTH pathogenic mutation is described for the second time in literature. Furthermore, the importance of metabolic assessment in patients with RTHβ has been highlighted and the possible correlation between RTH and primary hyperparathyroidism is discussed.
Does the Ketogenic Diet Improve the Quality of Ovarian Function in Obese Women?
Magagnini, MC, Condorelli, RA, Cimino, L, Cannarella, R, Aversa, A, Calogero, AE, La Vignera, S
Background: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age, the prevalence of which ranges from 8 to 13%. It is characterized by metabolic, reproductive, and psychological alterations. PCOS prevalence is related to body mass index (BMI). Women with BMI < 25 kg/m2 have a prevalence of 4.3%, whereas women with BMI > 30 kg/m2 have a prevalence of 14%. Moreover, women with PCOS have a risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) two-fold higher than controls, independently of BMI. Both PCOS and T2DM are also consequences of lower serum sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, which is currently considered a biomarker of metabolic disorders, in particular T2DM. Aim: To evaluate the effect of the very-low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD) on markers suggested to be predictive of metabolic and ovulatory dysfunction. These comprehend SHBG, anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), and progesterone levels on day 21 of the menstrual cycle in a cohort of obese non-diabetic women with PCOS and regular menses. Methods: Twenty-five patients (mean age 25.4 ± 3.44 years) with obesity and PCOS underwent VLCKD for 12 weeks. Each of them underwent measurements of anthropometric parameters (body weight, height, and waist circumference) and blood testing to evaluate serum levels of SHBG, AMH, and progesterone before and after 12 weeks of VLCKD. Results: At enrollment, all patients had high BMI, WC, and AMH, whereas SHBG and progesterone levels were low. After VLCKD, the patients showed a significant reduction in BMI, WC, and HOMA index. In particular, 76% of patients (19/25) switched from obesity to overweight, and the HOMA index normalized, reaching values lower than 2.5 in 96% (24/25) of patients. In addition, serum AMH levels significantly decreased, and progesterone and SHBG significantly increased after VLCKD. Conclusions: This is the first study documenting the effects of VLCKD on ovarian reserve and luteal function in women with PCOS. VLCKD could be used to improve metabolic and ovulatory dysfunction in women with PCOS. Further studies are needed to understand the reasons for the AMH reduction.
Is Chronic Varicocele a Risk Factor for Secondary Hyperparathyroidism?
Cannarella, R, Condorelli, RA, Perelli, S, Calogero, AE, Greco, E, Aversa, A, La Vignera, S
Journal of clinical medicine. 2022;(3)
OBJECTIVE To assess whether varicocele affects testicular 25-hydroxylase activity. METHODS Twenty normozoospermic patients with bilateral varicocele (grade III according to the Dubin and Amelar classification) without indications to undergo varicocele repair (normal sperm parameters and testicular volume; no scrotal pain) were consecutively enrolled and followed-up for four years. Serum levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium, and 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol [25(OH)D] along with serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), total testosterone (TT), conventional sperm parameters, sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) rate, and testicular volume (TV) were measured annually for three years. PTH, calcium, and 25(OH)D serum levels over time were compared with those of age- and body mass index (BMI)-matched control group of twenty varicocelectomized patients. MAIN RESULTS Both intra- and between-group analyses showed that serum PTH levels increased significantly over time in parallel with a significant decline in 25(OH)D levels. Serum calcium levels did not change significantly. At the same time, signs of mild Leydig and Sertoli cell dysfunction were found, such as an increase in gonadotropins and decreased TT and VT. However, conventional sperm parameters and SDF rate did not change significantly. CONCLUSION This prospective controlled study provides the first evidence of a negative impact of bilateral grade III varicocele on testicular 25-hydroxylase activity. Accordingly, the patients included in this study showed a significant increase in PTH and a decrease in 25(OH)D levels over time. Patients with varicocele deserve endocrinologic counseling.
The Role of Resveratrol Administration in Human Obesity.
Mongioì, LM, La Vignera, S, Cannarella, R, Cimino, L, Compagnone, M, Condorelli, RA, Calogero, AE
International journal of molecular sciences. 2021;(9)
Obesity is a widespread disease that is associated with numerous and serious comorbidities. These include metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular-cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, cancer, and sexual and hormonal disorders. The treatment of obesity has therefore become a goal of great clinical and social relevance. Among the therapeutic strategies against obesity, resveratrol has aroused great interest. This polyphenol has anticancer and antioxidant properties and cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Other favorable effects attributed to resveratrol are anti-lipid, anti-aging, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and neuroprotective actions. Administration of resveratrol appears to improve the metabolic profile in obese and/or insulin-resistant patients. This article aims to review the main results of clinical studies evaluating the effects of administering resveratrol alone in overweight/obese patients.
Coenzyme Q10, oxidative stress, and male infertility: A review.
Alahmar, AT, Calogero, AE, Singh, R, Cannarella, R, Sengupta, P, Dutta, S
Clinical and experimental reproductive medicine. 2021;(2):97-104
Male infertility has a complex etiopathology, which mostly remains elusive. Although research has claimed that oxidative stress (OS) is the most likely underlying mechanism of idiopathic male infertility, the specific treatment of OS-mediated male infertility requires further investigation. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a vitamin-like substance, has been found in measurable levels in human semen. It exhibits essential metabolic and antioxidant functions, as well as playing a vital role in mitochondrial bioenergetics. Thus, CoQ10 may be a key player in the maintenance of biological redox balance. CoQ10 concentrations in seminal plasma directly correlate with semen parameters, especially sperm count and sperm motility. Seminal CoQ10 concentrations have been shown to be altered in various male infertility states, such as varicocele, asthenozoospermia, and medical or surgical regimens used to treat male infertility. These observations imply that CoQ10 plays an important physiological role in the maintenance and amelioration of semen quality. The present article thereby aimed to review the possible mechanisms through which CoQ10 plays a role in the regulation of male reproductive function, and to concisely discuss its efficacy as an ameliorative agent in restoring semen parameters in male infertility, as well as its impact on OS markers, sperm DNA fragmentation, pregnancy, and assisted reproductive technology outcomes.
The ketogenic diet corrects metabolic hypogonadism and preserves pancreatic ß-cell function in overweight/obese men: a single-arm uncontrolled study.
La Vignera, S, Cannarella, R, Galvano, F, Grillo, A, Aversa, A, Cimino, L, Magagnini, CM, Mongioì, LM, Condorelli, RA, Calogero, AE
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BACKGROUND Overweight and obesity are increasingly spread in our society. Low testosterone levels are often present in these patients, the so-called metabolic hypogonadism, that further alters the metabolic balance in a sort of vicious cycle. Very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD) has been reported to efficiently reduce body weight, glycaemia, and the serum levels of insulin, glycated hemoglobin, but its effects on β-cell function and total testosterone (TT) levels are less clear. AIM: To evaluate the effects of VLCKD on markers suggested to be predictive of β-cell dysfunction development, such as proinsulin or proinsulin/insulin ratio, and on TT values in a cohort of overweight or obese nondiabetic male patients with metabolic hypogonadism. METHODS Patients with overweight or obesity and metabolic hypogonadism underwent to VLCKD for 12 weeks. Anthropometric parameters, blood testing for the measurement of glycaemia, insulin, C-peptide, proinsulin, TT, calculation of body-mass index (BMI), and HOMA index were performed before VLCKD and after 12 weeks. RESULTS Twenty patients (mean age 49.3 ± 5.2 years) were enrolled. At enrollement all patients presented increased insulin, HOMA index, C-peptide, and proinsulin levels, whereas the proinsulin/insulin ratio was within the normal values. After VLCKD treatment, body weight and BMI significantly decreased, and 14.9 ± 3.9% loss of the initial body weight was achieved. Glycaemia, insulin, HOMA index, C-peptide, and proinsulin significantly decreased compared to pre-VLCKD levels. Serum glycaemia, insulin, C-peptide, and proinsulin levels returned within the normal range in all patients. No difference in the proinsulin/insulin ratio was observed after VLCKD treatment. A mean increase of 218.1 ± 53.9% in serum TT levels was achieved and none of the patients showed TT values falling in the hypogonadal range at the end of the VLCKD treatment. CONCLUSIONS This is the first study that evaluated the effects of VLCKD on proinsulin, proinsulin/insulin ratio, and TT levels. VLCKD could be safely used to improve β-cell secretory function and insulin-sensitivity, and to rescue overweight and obese patients from β-cell failure and metabolic hypogonadism.
Relevance of sperm imprinted gene methylation on assisted reproductive technique outcomes and pregnancy loss: a systematic review.
Cannarella, R, Crafa, A, Condorelli, RA, Mongioì, LM, La Vignera, S, Calogero, AE
Systems biology in reproductive medicine. 2021;(4):251-259
Recent evidence suggests that gamete-imprinted genes play a role in embryo and placenta development and growth. This systematic review aimed to evaluate whether altered methylation of sperm-imprinted genes associates with sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF), pregnancy loss rate and assisted reproductive technique (ART) outcome. To accomplish this, Pubmed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, Academic One Files, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases were used for search strategy from each database inception until December 2020. Specific keywords were used. Studies satisfying the PECOS (Population, Exposure, Comparison/Comparator, Outcomes, Study design) model were retrieved. Ten studies could be included in the qualitative analysis. A significant association was reported between increased SDF rate and aberrant methylation of H19/IGF2 and KCNQ1 genes by two studies. A significantly lower H19 methylation was found in patients with idiopathic recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) and in infertile patients compared to fertile men. Methylation of GLT2, PEG1/MEST, and ZAC/PLACL1 were similar in patients with RPL and controls. The ART outcome was similar in patients with aberrant and normal methylation of H19, SNRPN, KCNQ1OT1, PEG1/MEST, LIT1, PEG3, NESPAS, and GLT2. By contrast, a study showed an association between altered GLT2 methylation and more inferior ART results. If further confirmed by well-sized studies, these data might be helpful to identify possible epigenetic predictors of ART outcome. Particularly, aberrant methylation of H19/IGF2 and KCNQ1 genes might represent interesting targets that deserve further investigation.