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      Effect of Antioxidant Supplementation on the Sperm Proteome of Idiopathic Infertile Men


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          Antioxidant supplementation in idiopathic male infertility has a beneficial effect on semen parameters. However, the molecular mechanism behind this effect has not been reported. The objective of this study was to evaluate the sperm proteome of idiopathic infertile men pre- and post-antioxidant supplementation. Idiopathic infertile men were provided with oral antioxidant supplementation once daily for a period of 6 months. Of the 379 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) between pre- and post-antioxidant treatment patients, the majority of the proteins ( n = 274) were overexpressed following antioxidant treatment. Bioinformatic analysis revealed the activation of oxidative phosphorylation pathway and upregulation of key proteins involved in spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, binding of sperm, fertilization and normal reproductive function. In addition, the transcriptional factors associated with antioxidant defense system (PPARGC1A) and free radical scavenging (NFE2L2) were predicted to be functionally activated post-treatment. Key DEPs, namely, NDUFS1, CCT3, PRKARA1 and SPA17 validated by Western blot showed significant overexpression post-treatment. Our novel proteomic findings suggest that antioxidant supplementation in idiopathic infertile men improves sperm function at the molecular level by modulating proteins involved in CREM signaling, mitochondrial function and protein oxidation. Further, activation of TRiC complex helped in nuclear compaction, maintenance of telomere length, flagella function, and expression of zona pellucida receptors for sperm–oocyte interaction.

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          Apoptosis and DNA damage in human spermatozoa.

          DNA damage is frequently encountered in spermatozoa of subfertile males and is correlated with a range of adverse clinical outcomes including impaired fertilization, disrupted preimplantation embryonic development, increased rates of miscarriage and an enhanced risk of disease in the progeny. The etiology of DNA fragmentation in human spermatozoa is closely correlated with the appearance of oxidative base adducts and evidence of impaired spermiogenesis. We hypothesize that oxidative stress impedes spermiogenesis, resulting in the generation of spermatozoa with poorly remodelled chromatin. These defective cells have a tendency to default to an apoptotic pathway associated with motility loss, caspase activation, phosphatidylserine exteriorization and the activation of free radical generation by the mitochondria. The latter induces lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, which then leads to DNA fragmentation and cell death. The physical architecture of spermatozoa prevents any nucleases activated as a result of this apoptotic process from gaining access to the nuclear DNA and inducing its fragmentation. It is for this reason that a majority of the DNA damage encountered in human spermatozoa seems to be oxidative. Given the important role that oxidative stress seems to have in the etiology of DNA damage, there should be an important role for antioxidants in the treatment of this condition. If oxidative DNA damage in spermatozoa is providing a sensitive readout of systemic oxidative stress, the implications of these findings could stretch beyond our immediate goal of trying to minimize DNA damage in spermatozoa as a prelude to assisted conception therapy.
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            Mitochondria-related male infertility.

            Approximately 15% of human couples are affected by infertility, and about half of these cases of infertility can be attributed to men, through low sperm motility (asthenozoospermia) or/and numbers (oligospermia). Because mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) mutations are identified in patients with fertility problems, there is a possibility that mitochondrial respiration defects contribute to male infertility. To address this possibility, we used a transmitochondrial mouse model (mito-mice) carrying wild-type mtDNA and mutant mtDNA with a pathogenic 4,696-bp deletion (DeltamtDNA). Here we show that mitochondrial respiration defects caused by the accumulation of DeltamtDNA induced oligospermia and asthenozoospermia in the mito-mice. Most sperm from the infertile mito-mice had abnormalities in the middle piece and nucleus. Testes of the infertile mito-mice showed meiotic arrest at the zygotene stage as well as enhanced apoptosis. Thus, our in vivo study using mito-mice directly demonstrates that normal mitochondrial respiration is required for mammalian spermatogenesis, and its defects resulting from accumulated mutant mtDNAs cause male infertility.
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              Epigenetics, spermatogenesis and male infertility.

              Epigenetic modifications characterized by DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodeling are important regulators in a number of biological processes, including spermatogenesis. Several genes in the testes are regulated through epigenetic mechanisms, indicating a direct influence of epigenetic mechanisms on the process of spermatogenesis. In the present article, we have provided a comprehensive review of the epigenetic processes in the testes, correlation of epigenetic aberrations with male infertility, impact of environmental factors on the epigenome and male fertility, and significance of epigenetic changes/aberrations in assisted reproduction. The literature review suggested a significant impact of epigenetic aberrations (epimutations) on spermatogenesis, and this could lead to male infertility. Epimutations (often hypermethylation) in several genes, namely MTHFR, PAX8, NTF3, SFN, HRAS, JHM2DA, IGF2, H19, RASGRF1, GTL2, PLAG1, D1RAS3, MEST, KCNQ1, LIT1, and SNRPN, have been reported in association with poor semen parameters or male infertility. Environmental toxins/drugs may affect fertility via epigenetic modifications. For example, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, an anticancer agent, causes a decrease in global DNA methylation that leads to altered sperm morphology, decreased sperm motility, decreased fertilization capacity, and decreased embryo survival. Similarly, Endocrine disruptors, such as methoxychlor (an estrogenic pesticide) and vinclozolin (an anti-androgenic fungicide) have been found by experiments on animals to affect epigenetic modifications that may cause spermatogenic defects in subsequent generations. Assisted reproduction procedures that have been considered rather safe, are now being implicated in inducing epigenetic changes that could affect fertility in subsequent generations. Techniques such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and round spermatid injection (ROSI) may increase the incidence of imprinting disorders and adversely affect embryonic development by using immature spermatozoa that may not have established proper imprints or global methylation. Epigenetic changes, in contrast to genetic aberrations, may be less deleterious because they are potentially reversible. Further research could identify certain drugs capable of reversing epigenetic changes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Antioxidants (Basel)
                Antioxidants (Basel)
                16 October 2019
                October 2019
                : 8
                : 10
                [1 ]American Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; pannerm@ 123456ccf.org (M.K.P.S.); lsamanta@ 123456ravenshawuniversity.ac.in (L.S.); sharmar@ 123456ccf.org (R.S.)
                [2 ]Department of Urology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; VIJS@ 123456ccf.org (S.C.V.); PAREKHN3@ 123456ccf.org (N.P.); SABANEE@ 123456ccf.org (E.S.)
                [3 ]Redox Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack 753003, India
                [4 ]Division of Urology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL 62769, USA; nicktadros@ 123456gmail.com
                [5 ]Department of Urology, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha 00974, Qatar; mohamedmostafaarafa@ 123456gmail.com
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: agarwaa@ 123456ccf.org ; Tel.: +1-216-444-9485
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).



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