Reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation and enzymatic defence systems in human spermatozoa.J Reprod Fertil 1995; 103(1):17-26JR
The reactive oxygen species, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide anion (O2o-), were generated with a xanthine-xanthine oxidase system and their effect on human sperm function was studied. The action of reactive oxygen species on selected human spermatozoa resulted in a decreased capacity for ionophore-induced acrosome reaction, a decrease in sperm motility, an increase in the concentration of lipid hydroperoxides and a loss of membrane polyunsaturated fatty acids. H2O2 was the key intermediate of the deleterious effects exerted by the xanthine and xanthine oxidase. Among these parameters, the acrosome reaction appeared most susceptible to the reactive oxygen species generated by the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system, and was decreased without sperm motility being affected. Treatment with H2O2 was shown to inactivate several enzymatic activities involved in the antioxidant defence of spermatozoa: glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. H2O2 and O2o- were shown to be involved in the lipid alterations triggered by the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system. Singlet oxygen is proposed to intervene in the lipoperoxidation process. The inefficacy of mannitol in protecting spermatozoa suggests that hydroxyl radicals were not produced in the extracellular medium.