The dogma of mitochondria as the major source of energy in supporting sperm motility should be critically reconsidered in the light of several experimental data pointing to a major role of glycolysis in mammalian spermatozoa. In this light, the reported positive correlation between the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and motility of ejaculated spermatozoa cannot be explained convincingly by an impaired mitochondrial ATP generation only. Evidence has been produced suggesting that, in human sperm, dysfunctional mitochondria represent the main site of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, in these organelles, a complex bidirectional relationship could exist between ROS generation and apoptosis-like events that synergize with oxidative stress in impairing sperm biological integrity and functions. Despite the activity of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant factors, human spermatozoa are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress, which plays a major role in male factor infertility. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of metabolic, oxidative and apoptosis-like inter-linkages of mitochondrial dysfunction and their reflections on human sperm biology.

Pathophysiology of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Human Spermatozoa: Focus on Energetic Metabolism, Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis

Castellini, Chiara;D'Andrea, Settimio;Cordeschi, Giuliana;Totaro, Maria;Parisi, Antonio;Di Emidio, Giovanna;Tatone, Carla;Francavilla, Sandro;Barbonetti, Arcangelo
2021

Abstract

The dogma of mitochondria as the major source of energy in supporting sperm motility should be critically reconsidered in the light of several experimental data pointing to a major role of glycolysis in mammalian spermatozoa. In this light, the reported positive correlation between the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and motility of ejaculated spermatozoa cannot be explained convincingly by an impaired mitochondrial ATP generation only. Evidence has been produced suggesting that, in human sperm, dysfunctional mitochondria represent the main site of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, in these organelles, a complex bidirectional relationship could exist between ROS generation and apoptosis-like events that synergize with oxidative stress in impairing sperm biological integrity and functions. Despite the activity of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant factors, human spermatozoa are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress, which plays a major role in male factor infertility. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of metabolic, oxidative and apoptosis-like inter-linkages of mitochondrial dysfunction and their reflections on human sperm biology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/166206
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