The relationship between genital infection and two sperm parameters, namely, concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and cytokines [e.g., interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-18], in the semen of infertile males remains undetermined.Method of study
Semen samples from 81 infertile (with or without Ureaplasma urealyticum infection) and normal males were subjected to semen analysis.Results
Nitric oxide concentration in the semen of infertile males with genital infection was higher than those of infertile males without genital infection and of normal males (P < 0.05). Sperm density, pH, percentage of forward, movement of sperm, sperm activation rate, sperm survival rate, and normal rate of the sperm morphology of infertile males with U. urealyticum infection were significantly lower than those of infertile males without genital infection and of normal males (P < 0.05). NO concentrations were also positively correlated with IL-17 and IL-18 concentrations in the semen of infertile males.Conclusion
Increased NO concentration and abnormal IL-17 and IL-18 expression were induced by genital infection and induced damage to male reproductive capacity, thereby causing male infertility.