Author(s): Twigg J, Fulton N, Gomez E, Irvine DS, Aitken RJ
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Abstract Exposure of human spermatozoa to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) resulted in the dose dependent generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which, at a critical level of intensity, induced lipid peroxidation, DNA damage and a dramatic decline of sperm motility. This system was then used as a model for screening the ability of different antioxidants to combat oxidative stress created through the excessive intracellular generation of toxic oxygen products of metabolism. A variety of antioxidants that has previously been shown to be protective against extracellularly derived oxidants (e.g. superoxide dismutase, catalase, vitamin E, hypotaurine) were ineffective in this system. Albumin, however, could provide complete protection against NADPH induced oxidative stress via mechanisms that did not involve the suppression of the lipid peroxidation cascade but rather the inactivation of lipid peroxides generated during this process. Albumin did not protect against DNA damage induced by NADPH but was extremely effective at preventing DNA fragmentation arising from the suppression of glutathione peroxidase activity with mercaptosuccinate. These studies emphasize that the design of clinically effective antioxidant treatments will depend, critically, upon the source of the oxidative stress. For cases involving excessive intracellular ROS generation, albumin appears to be an important means of neutralizing lipid peroxide-mediated damage to the sperm plasma membrane and DNA.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
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