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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-9

Understanding the central tenet and plausible consequences of oxidative DNA damage in the male gamete

Department of Anatomy, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
V Dinesh Kumar
Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_46_17

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One of the major causes of defective sperm function is sperm DNA damage induced by oxidative stress. The quasicrystalline state of sperm chromatin and lack of cytoplasm make it vulnerable to DNA damage induced by oxidative attack. Supraphysiological levels of reactive oxygen species result in damage to sperm DNA and therefore might provide a common underlying etiology of male infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, in addition to childhood cancers in children fathered by men with defective sperm cells. This review aims to throw light on the causative links between oxidative stress and sperm DNA damage. Integral to this discussion is an abundance of evidence indicating that sperm DNA damage might have a profound impact in determining the outcome of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). Despite a growing body of evidence, routine testing for oxidative stress is not indicated in clinical practice. This calls for cost-effective, accurate, and simple diagnostic tools that can be routinely used when evaluating men with idiopathic infertility. Encouragingly, the involvement of oxidative stress in the etiology of male infertility has opened up new opportunities for therapeutic interventions involving judicious administration of antioxidants. The topic is of paramount importance in the current scenario where extensive use of ART achieves pregnancies in vitro which would have been prevented in vivo by nature, ensuring that the defective gametes not participating in generative process.

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