Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Mechanisms to explain inflammation in male infertility of unknown cause are still being investigated. The inflammasome is a key regulator of innate immunity in the inflammatory response to infections. Our study aims to investigate the effects of varicocele on infertility, its relationship with antioxidant and inflammasome mechanisms, and how it could be guided in azoospermic or nonazoospermic patients. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional cohort study was conducted at the department of urology in our university hospital. Eightyeight randomly selected men aged 20-45 admitted to our hospital because of infertility between September 2019 and July 2020 were included in the study. Patients were divided into four equal groups according to their clinical status, those with/without azoospermia and with/without varicocele. Blood and semen samples were taken from the patients. NOD-like receptor pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) and interleukin-1 beta (IL1ß) and total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), and oxidative stress index (OSI) levels were measured in serum and semen, and the groups were compared statistically. Results: Serum and semen NLRP3, IL1ß, TAS, TOS, and OSI values of the patients with varicocele or azoospermia were significantly higher than those without either varicocele or azoospermia (p < 0.05). The oxidative stress markers TAS, TOS, and OSI values were significantly higher in the other groups than those without azoospermia and varicocele (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Inflammasome mechanisms, such as NLRP3 and IL1-ß molecules, may provide additional benefit in evaluating the need and benefit of surgical or medical treatment in infertility with and without vascular pathology and with and without azoospermia.


Infertility, azoospermia, varicocele, NLRP3, inflammasome

First Page


Last Page