Oxidative stress and medical antioxidant treatment in male infertility.
ABSTRACT Oxidative stress (OS) has been recognized as one of the most important cause of male infertility. Despite the antioxidant activity of seminal plasma, epididymis and spermatozoa, OS damages sperm function and DNA integrity. Since antioxidants suppress the action of reactive oxygen species, these compounds have been used in the medical treatment of male infertility or have been added to the culture medium during sperm separation techniques. Nevertheless, the efficacy of such a treatment has been reported to be very limited. This may relate to: (i) patient selection bias; (ii) late diagnosis of male infertility; (iii) lack of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial; and/or (iv) use of end-points that are not good markers of the presence of OS. This review considers the effects of the main antioxidant compounds used in clinical practice. Overall, the data published suggest that no single antioxidant is able to enhance fertilizing capability in infertile men, whereas a combination of them seems to provide a better approach. Taking into account the pros and the cons of antioxidant treatment of male infertility, the potential advantages that it offers cannot be ignored. Therefore, antioxidant therapy should remain in the forefront of preventive medicine, including human reproductive medicine.
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ABSTRACT: Low concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) are necessary for the biology and physiology of spermatozoa, but high levels of NO are toxic and have negative effects on sperm functions. Although several studies have considered the relationship between infertility and semen NO concentrations, no study on the effects of asthenospermia treatments such as oral zinc supplementation on concentrations of NO, which are important in fertility, has been reported. Studies have shown that oral zinc supplementation develops sperm count, motility and the physical characteristics of sperm in animals and in some groups of infertile men. The present study was conducted to study the effect of zinc supplementation on the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of semen, along with enzymes of the NO pathway in the seminal plasma of asthenospermic patients. Semen samples were obtained from 60 fertile and 60 asthenozoospermic infertile men of matched age. The subfertile group was treated with zinc sulfate; each participant took two capsules (220 mg per capsule) per day for 3 months. Semen samples were obtained (before and after zinc sulfate supplementation). After liquefaction of the seminal fluid at room temperature, routine semen analyses were performed. The stable metabolites of NO (nitrite) in seminal plasma were measured by nitrophenol assay. Arginase activity and NO synthase activity were measured spectrophotometrically. Peroxynitrite levels, arginase activity, NO synthase activity and various sperm parameters were compared among fertile controls and infertile patients (before and after treatment with zinc sulfate). Peroxynitrite levels and NO synthase activity were significantly higher in the infertile patients compared to the fertile group. Conversely, arginase activity was significantly higher in the fertile group than the infertile patients. Peroxynitrite levels, arginase activity and NO synthase activity of the infertile patient were restored to normal values after treatment with zinc sulfate. Volume of semen, progressive sperm motility percentage and total normal sperm count were increased after zinc supplementation. Treatment of asthenospermic patients with zinc supplementation leads to restored peroxynitrite levels, arginase activity and NO synthase activity to normal values and gives a statistically significant improvement of semen parameters compared with controls.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01684059.Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 01/2014; 12(1):1. · 2.41 Impact Factor
- Central European journal of urology. 01/2013; 66(1):50-1.
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ABSTRACT: Following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, large amounts of radionuclides were emitted and spread in the environment. Animals living in such contaminated areas are predicted to suffer fitness costs including reductions in the quality and quantity of gametes.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e100296. · 3.53 Impact Factor