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Panminerva Medica 1999 March;41(1):45-53

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Reactive oxygen species in male infertility. Review of literature and personal observations

Conte G., Milardi D., De Marinis L., Mancini A.

From the Institute of Endocrinology The Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy


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Reactive ­oxygen spe­cies, ­highly reac­tive mole­cules ­derived ­from the metab­olism of ­oxygen, ­play an impor­tant ­role in the metab­olism of sper­matozoa, ­related to the hyper­ac­ti­vated ­motility and acro­some reac­tion. Various ­studies ­have dem­on­strated ­that ­these mole­cules, ­because of ­their reac­tivity, can ­induce per­ox­i­da­tive ­damage on the ­cell, espe­cially on the ­lipid mem­branes. The sper­matozoa, ­owing to ­their struc­ture, ­appear to be ­very sen­si­tive to the oxi­da­tive ­insult. Various experi­mental ­data sus­tain the hypoth­esis ­that, ­when pro­duced in ­high ­amounts, reac­tive ­oxygen spe­cies can ­induce ­sperm ­damage and ­become poten­tially respon­sible for ­some ­forms of unex­plained infer­tility. The ­cells pos­sess var­ious mech­a­nisms of ­defense ­against the oxi­da­tive ­insult, ­mainly due to anti­ox­i­dant mole­cules. An anti­ox­i­dant treat­ment can pro­duce an improve­ment in sem­inal param­e­ters and ­sperm func­tion in ­vitro, and rep­re­sents a pos­sible ­form of ­care for ­selected ­forms of infer­tility.

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