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Relative Impact of Oxidative Stress on Male Reproductive Function

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Abstract:

Impairment of normal spermatogenesis and sperm function are the most common causes of male factor infertility. Abnormal sperm function is difficult to evaluate and treat. There is a lack of understanding of the factors contributing to normal and abnormal sperm function leading to infertility. Many recent studies indicate that oxygen-derived free radicals induce damage to spermatozoa. The excessive generation of these reactive oxygen species (superoxide, hydroxyl, nitric oxide, peroxide, peroxynitrile) by immature and abnormal spermatozoa and by contaminating leukocytes associated with genitourinary tract inflammation have been identified with idiopathic male infertility. Mammalian sper-matozoa membranes are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. This makes them very susceptible to oxygen-induced damage, which is mediated by lipid peroxidation. In a normal situation, the antioxidant mechanisms present in the reproductive tissues and their secretions are likely to quench these reactive oxygen species (ROS) and protect against oxidative damage to gonadal cells and mature spermatozoa. During chronic disease states, aging, toxin exposure, or genitourinary infection / inflammation, these cellular antioxidant mechanisms downplay and create a situation called oxidative stress. Thus, a balance between ROS generation and antioxidant capacity plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of disease state. Recent efforts towards the development of new reliable assays to evaluate this oxidative stress status have resulted in the establishment of ROS-TAC score. Such assessment of oxidative stress status (OSS) may help in designing newer modes of male factor infertility treatment by suitable antioxidants.

Keywords: Establishment of Spermatogenesis; Genitourinary (GU) Inflammation; Gonadotoxicity; Hydrogen Peroxide; Hydroxyl Radicals (HO ); Nitric Oxide Radical (NO ); Oxidative Stress; Oxidative Stress Status (OSS); Superoxide Anion

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/0929867013373039

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
ben/cmc/2001/00000008/00000007/art00012
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