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1 February 2001 Failure of the Expression of Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase in the Spermatozoa of Human Infertile Males
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Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx) was intensely expressed in mitochondria in the midpiece of human spermatozoa by immunostaining with anti-PHGPx monoclonal antibodies. The PHGPx not only reduced phospholipid hydroperoxide but also scavenged hydrogen peroxide in human spermatozoa. We found a dramatic decrease in the level of expression of PHGPx in the spermatozoa of some infertile males by immunoblotting with anti-PHGPx monoclonal antibodies. These individuals accounted for about 10% of the group of 73 infertile males that we examined. All seven patients with PHGPx-defective spermatozoa were classified as suffering from oligoasthenozoospermia, a defect in which both the number and the motility of spermatozoa are significantly below normal. Males with PHGPx-defective spermatozoa accounted for 26% of the 27 infertile males with oligoasthenozoospermia. No defects in expression of PHGPx in spermatozoa were observed in 31 fertile volunteers. After a 3-h incubation, the relative number of motile spermatozoa with low-level expression of PHGPx was significantly lower than that of spermatozoa with normal expression of PHGPx. The PHGPx-defective spermatozoa failed to incorporate rhodamine 123, revealing a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Ultrastructual analysis of mitochondria by electron microscopy demonstrated that the morphology of mitochondria in PHGPx-defective spermatozoa was abnormal. The results suggest that failure of the expression of mitochondrial PHGPx in spermatozoa might be one of the causes of oligoasthenozoospermia in infertile men.

Hirotaka Imai, Kunio Suzuki, Kazuhiro Ishizaka, Shizuko Ichinose, Hiroyuki Oshima, Isao Okayasu, Kazuo Emoto, Masato Umeda, and Yasuhito Nakagawa "Failure of the Expression of Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase in the Spermatozoa of Human Infertile Males," Biology of Reproduction 64(2), 674-683, (1 February 2001).
Received: 2 August 2000; Accepted: 1 October 2000; Published: 1 February 2001

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