Male infertility testing Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant capacity

Elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels have been associated with abnormal semen parameters and male infertility. The impact of ROS on fertilization rates and pregnancy remains controversial.

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Authors

Edmund Y. Ko, M.D., Edmund S. Sabanegh, M.D., Ashok Agarwal, Ph.D.

Volume 102, Issue 6, Pages 1518-1527

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are an integral component of sperm developmental physiology, capacitation, and function. Elevated ROS levels, from processes such as infection or inflammation, can be associated with aberrations of sperm development, function, and fertilizing capacity. We review the impact of ROS on sperm physiology, its place in infertility evaluation, the implications for reproductive outcomes, and antioxidant therapy. Our systematic review of PubMed literature from the last 3 decades focuses on the physiology and etiology of ROS and oxidative stress (OS), evaluation of ROS, and antioxidants. ROS is normally produced physiologically and is used to maintain cellular processes such as sperm maturation, capacitation, and sperm-oocyte interaction. When ROS production exceeds the buffering capacity of antioxidants, OS occurs and can have a negative impact on sperm and fertility. ROS and antioxidant capacity testing can potentially add additional prognostic information to standard laboratory testing for the infertile male, although its role as standard part of an evaluation has yet to be determined. Elevated ROS levels have been implicated with abnormal semen parameters and male infertility, but the impact of ROS on fertilization rates and pregnancy is controversial. This is partly because of the lack of consensus on what type of patients may be suitable for ROS testing and assay standardization. Routine ROS testing for the infertile male is not currently recommended.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(14)02271-7/fulltext


Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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