Oxidative stress and motility impairment in the semen of fertile males
The aim of the study was to determine the total oxidant status (TOS) and evaluate the influence of oxidative stress on sperm quality in fertile males. The study population consisted of 55 fertile males. Based on the seminal plasma TOS value, the study subjects were divided into the two subgroups: a group with a low (TOS-L) and a high (TOS-H) value. Comparing the TOS-H group with the TOS-L group, we found poorer sperm motility in the TOS-H group. We found lower total antioxidant capacity values and lower activity levels in the majority of the determined superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Further, we found higher levels of copper and iron as well as lower levels of zinc in the TOS-H group. We observed lower medians of IL-2, 4, 6, 8 and INF-γ in the TOS-H group compared with the TOS-L group, whereas the medians of IL-1β, IL-10 and IL-12 were significantly higher. In fertile males, higher oxidative stress intensity was associated with poorer semen quality and decreased antioxidant capacity in semen. These negative effects might be a result of decreased activities of antioxidant enzymes and altered levels of trace metals and cytokines.