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The role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in male fertility.

Walczak-Jedrzejowska R, Wolski JK, Slowikowska-Hilczer J - Cent European J Urol (2013)

Bottom Line: Spermatozoa are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of ROS.It seems that a deficiency of any of them can cause a decrease in total antioxidant status.In vitro and in vivo that studies demonstrate many antioxidants possess a beneficial effect on fertility and, therefore, their use is recommended as supportive therapy for the treatment of infertility in men.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Andrology and Reproductive Endocrinology, Medical University of Łódź, Poland.

ABSTRACT
Oxidative stress results from the imbalance between production of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the protective effect of the antioxidant system responsible for their neutralization and removal. An excess of ROS causes a pathological reaction resulting in damage to cells and tissues. Spermatozoa are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of ROS. Oxidative stress affects their activity, damages DNA structure, and accelerates apoptosis, all of which consequently decrease their numbers, hinders motility and development of normal morphology, and impairs function. This leads to disturbances in fertility or embryo development disorder. The main cellular source of ROS in the semen are immature sperm cells and white blood cells. The increase in the number of leukocytes may be due to infection and inflammation, but can also be secondary to harmful environmental factors, long sexual abstinence, or varicocele. The protective antioxidant system in the semen is composed of enzymes, as well as nonenzymatic substances, which closely interact with each other to ensure optimal protection against ROS. Non-enzymatic antioxidants include vitamins A, E, C, and B complex, glutathione, pantothenic acid, coenzyme Q10 and carnitine, and micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, and copper. It seems that a deficiency of any of them can cause a decrease in total antioxidant status. In vitro and in vivo that studies demonstrate many antioxidants possess a beneficial effect on fertility and, therefore, their use is recommended as supportive therapy for the treatment of infertility in men.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scheme of harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on male fertility.
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Figure 0001: Scheme of harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on male fertility.

Mentions: Although causes of male infertility can be identified as anatomical abnormalities, such as varicocele, semen outflow tract obstruction or neurological disorders of ejaculation, most of the cases are caused by abnormal spermatogenesis and failure in sperm function [1]. Despite the development of science and increasingly sophisticated diagnostic methods, in some cases, the etiology and pathogenesis of male infertility are still unknown and constitute the group of idiopathic infertility. Male fertility disorder is attributed to environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and heat, or electromagnetic radiation [7, 8, 9]. Smoking, alcohol abuse, chronic stress, obesity, urogenital trauma, and inflammation in the male reproductive system are also associated with decreased male fertility [10, 11, 12]. The consequence of most of these factors is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by the imbalance between the production of so–called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the protective action of antioxidant system responsible for their neutralization and removal. An excess of ROS causes a pathological response leading to damage of cells and tissues. Spermatozoa are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of ROS, because their cell membrane contains large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, which can be oxidized (lipid peroxidation), and the cytoplasm has only small concentrations of the enzyme able to neutralize ROS. The lipid oxidation process leads to a loss of membrane integrity and an increase in its permeability, inactivation of cellular enzymes, structural DNA damage, and cell apoptosis. The consequence is reduced sperm count and activity, decreased motility and abnormal morphology [13, 14, 15]. It is estimated that approximately 25% of infertile men present elevated levels of ROS in the semen [16, 17, 18] and often lower antioxidant capacity of semen [19, 20, 21]. The scheme of harmful effects of ROS is shown in Figure 1. Therefore, it seems reasonable to try to support the treatment of male infertility with supplementation having the ability to neutralize ROS i.e. antioxidants [22].


The role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in male fertility.

Walczak-Jedrzejowska R, Wolski JK, Slowikowska-Hilczer J - Cent European J Urol (2013)

Scheme of harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on male fertility.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3921845&req=5

Figure 0001: Scheme of harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on male fertility.
Mentions: Although causes of male infertility can be identified as anatomical abnormalities, such as varicocele, semen outflow tract obstruction or neurological disorders of ejaculation, most of the cases are caused by abnormal spermatogenesis and failure in sperm function [1]. Despite the development of science and increasingly sophisticated diagnostic methods, in some cases, the etiology and pathogenesis of male infertility are still unknown and constitute the group of idiopathic infertility. Male fertility disorder is attributed to environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and heat, or electromagnetic radiation [7, 8, 9]. Smoking, alcohol abuse, chronic stress, obesity, urogenital trauma, and inflammation in the male reproductive system are also associated with decreased male fertility [10, 11, 12]. The consequence of most of these factors is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by the imbalance between the production of so–called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the protective action of antioxidant system responsible for their neutralization and removal. An excess of ROS causes a pathological response leading to damage of cells and tissues. Spermatozoa are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of ROS, because their cell membrane contains large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, which can be oxidized (lipid peroxidation), and the cytoplasm has only small concentrations of the enzyme able to neutralize ROS. The lipid oxidation process leads to a loss of membrane integrity and an increase in its permeability, inactivation of cellular enzymes, structural DNA damage, and cell apoptosis. The consequence is reduced sperm count and activity, decreased motility and abnormal morphology [13, 14, 15]. It is estimated that approximately 25% of infertile men present elevated levels of ROS in the semen [16, 17, 18] and often lower antioxidant capacity of semen [19, 20, 21]. The scheme of harmful effects of ROS is shown in Figure 1. Therefore, it seems reasonable to try to support the treatment of male infertility with supplementation having the ability to neutralize ROS i.e. antioxidants [22].

Bottom Line: Spermatozoa are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of ROS.It seems that a deficiency of any of them can cause a decrease in total antioxidant status.In vitro and in vivo that studies demonstrate many antioxidants possess a beneficial effect on fertility and, therefore, their use is recommended as supportive therapy for the treatment of infertility in men.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Andrology and Reproductive Endocrinology, Medical University of Łódź, Poland.

ABSTRACT
Oxidative stress results from the imbalance between production of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the protective effect of the antioxidant system responsible for their neutralization and removal. An excess of ROS causes a pathological reaction resulting in damage to cells and tissues. Spermatozoa are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of ROS. Oxidative stress affects their activity, damages DNA structure, and accelerates apoptosis, all of which consequently decrease their numbers, hinders motility and development of normal morphology, and impairs function. This leads to disturbances in fertility or embryo development disorder. The main cellular source of ROS in the semen are immature sperm cells and white blood cells. The increase in the number of leukocytes may be due to infection and inflammation, but can also be secondary to harmful environmental factors, long sexual abstinence, or varicocele. The protective antioxidant system in the semen is composed of enzymes, as well as nonenzymatic substances, which closely interact with each other to ensure optimal protection against ROS. Non-enzymatic antioxidants include vitamins A, E, C, and B complex, glutathione, pantothenic acid, coenzyme Q10 and carnitine, and micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, and copper. It seems that a deficiency of any of them can cause a decrease in total antioxidant status. In vitro and in vivo that studies demonstrate many antioxidants possess a beneficial effect on fertility and, therefore, their use is recommended as supportive therapy for the treatment of infertility in men.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus