Author(s): Cocuzza M, Sikka SC, Athayde KS, Agarwal A
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Abstract Oxidative stress (OS) in the reproductive tract is now a real entity and concern due to the potential harmful effects of high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on sperm number, motility, quality, and function including damage to sperm nuclear DNA. Evaluation of OS related damage to non-functional sperm is highly relevant as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) technique, an effective therapy for severe male factor infertility, bypasses the majority of reproductive tract deficiencies. Despite the controversial findings in the existing literature, there is now enough evidence to show that sperm DNA damage is detrimental to reproductive outcomes. In addition, spermatozoa of infertile men are suggested to carry more DNA damage than do the spermatozoa from fertile men. Besides impairment of fertility such damage is likely to increase the transmission of genetic diseases during the assisted reproductive procedures. Standardization of protocols to assess reactive oxygen species and DNA damage is very important in introducing these tests in such clinical practice. Thus evaluation of seminal ROS levels and extent of sperm DNA damage especially in an infertile male may help develop new therapeutic strategies and improve success of assisted reproductive techniques (ART).
This article was published in Int Braz J Urol
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research