Acute myeloid leukemia affects mouse sperm parameters, spontaneous acrosome reaction, and fertility capacity

Yulia Michailov, Eitan Lunenfeld, Joseph Kapilushnik, Shevach Friedler, Eckart Meese, Mahmoud Huleihel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Leukemia is one of the most common cancers in patients of reproductive age. It is well known that chemotherapy, used as anti-cancer therapy, adversely affects male fertility. Moreover, the negative effect of leukemia on sperm quality, even before chemotherapy treatment, has been reported. However, the mechanisms behind this disease’s effect on sperm quality remains unknown. In this study, we examine the direct effect of leukemia and chemotherapy alone and in combination on sperm parameters and male fertility. For this, we developed an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) mouse model (mice were treated with AML cells C1498 and developed leukemia); these mice then received cytarabine chemotherapy. Our findings reveal a significant reduction in sperm concentration and motility and a significant increase in abnormal morphology and spontaneous acrosome reaction of the sperm following AML and chemotherapy treatment, alone and in combination. We also found a reduction in male fertility and the number of delivered offspring. Our results support previous findings that AML impairs sperm parameters and show for the first time that AML increases spontaneous acrosome reaction and decreases male fertility capacity and number of offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number219
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrosome reaction
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Male infertility
  • Sperm parameters
  • Testis


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