Proteomic analysis of seminal plasma from infertile patients with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia due to oxidative stress and comparison with fertile volunteers

The largest proteomic data set to date of seminal plasma from idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (iOAT) and fertile subjects is presented, with 46 proteins implicated in oxidative stress and immune response in iOAT.


Ralf Herwig, M.D., Christian Knoll, M.Sc., Melanie Planyavsky, Ali Pourbiabany, Joachim Greilberger, Ph.D., Keiryn L. Bennett, Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 2, Pages 355-366.e2, August 2013



To compare the expression protein profile of seminal plasma from infertile men with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT) due to oxidative stress with that of healthy, fertile men to determine the proteins indicative of infertility.


Experimental study.


University hospital and research institute.


Semen samples from 11 healthy, fertile (according to the 1999 World Health Organization criteria) male volunteers and 11 infertile idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (iOAT) patients.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Proteomic analysis performed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry on a hybrid linear trap quadrupole Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer, carbonylation assay to determine degree of oxidative stress, semiquantitative proteomic analysis, gene ontology, and pathway analysis.


A total of 2,489 proteins were identified from seminal plasma, which represents the highest number of unique proteins identified to date. Twenty-four proteins were determined as ≥1.5-fold up-regulated in the infertile iOAT males as compared with the fertile controls; and 27 proteins from iOAT patients only were identified as common across all analyses. Only five of the proteins were shared between these two groups.


A panel of 46 proteins were identified in patients with iOAT that are potential candidates in understanding the etiology of OAT due to oxidative stress.

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