African Journal of Biotechnology

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Oxidative stress induces idiopathic infertility in Egyptian males

AA Khalil, HM Hussien, EM Sarhan


The most common cause of male infertility is idiopathic. Oxidative stress (OS) would play a vital role in etiology of idiopathic male infertility because of its targeting to spermatozoa plasma membrane rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. To examine OS effect on Egyptian men fertility, sperm samples were obtained from infertile idiopathic patients (25 to 35 years old). The samples were categorized into 4 groups: fertile group (n = 20); azospermia’s patients (n = 20); normospermic patients (n = 20) and oligospermic patients (n = 40). Induced OS was tracked by measuring the alteration in prooxidant level (TBARS) as well as activities of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-Stransferase (GST), glutathione peroxide (GPX) and reduced glutathione (GSH). The TBARS levels were significantly high in infertile patients (within a range of 33.89 to 81.77%) compared to the healthy individuals. GST, SOD and GSH were significantly low in oligospermic patients by 33.33, 39.655 and 53.16%, respectively while GPX was higher by 87.5%. In azospermic patients, GSH and SOD activities were lower by 50% while GPX reached its maximum activity (93.75%). For normospermic patients with high immotile sperm, SOD activity was higher by 62.06% while both GSH and GPX were lower by 36.54 and 70.31%, respectively compared to the healthy individuals. Our results obviously emphasize the association of OS level in seminal plasma with the incidence and progression of the idiopathic infertility in infertile patients. Thus, seminal reactive oxygen species (ROS) would be used as a specific and sensitive biomarker for idiopathic male infertility.

Key words: Idiopathic male infertility, azospermia, oligospermia, normospermia, oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes, thiobarbituric acid reactive species.
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