Spermatozoal aberrations in cigarette smokers

V. Kulikauskas, R. J. Ablin, D. Blaustein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Smoking causes a variety of disabilities, and cigarette smoke condensates may be mutagenic to spermatozoa. Initial evaluation of semen quality of a small number of subjects disclosed spermatozoal aberrations in cigarette smokers. To further evaluate the effect of cigarette smoking on semen quality, as reflected by spermatozoal aberrations of density (number), motility and morphological abnormalities, ejaculates were obtained from 222 consecutively seen males. Morphological abnormalities considered were those of the head, neck, tail and degree of maturation. Subjects were categorized as smokers if they smoked a minimum of 4 cigarettes/day; non-smokers did not smoke at all. Subjects with a history or the presence of factors other than cigarette smoking, which could influence semen quality, were excluded. This was a blind study, as categorization of subjects into smokers and non-smokers was made only following evaluation. Spermatozoa from smokers were observed to have significantly (P<0.001) decreased density and motility compared to those from nonsmokers. Although morphological abnormalities, particularly bicephalia, appeared to be more prevalent among smokers than non-smokers, there was statistically no significant difference. The results suggest that decreases in sperm density and motility in smokers may be reflective of possible mutagenic spermatogenic alterations attributable to smoke condensates. Reduction of sperm motility due to the presence of inhibitors of choline acetyltransferase (which facilitates sperm motility) in smoke condensates may also be a contributing factor to the present observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076
Number of pages1
JournalIRCS Medical Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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