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1 September 2004 Effect of Glutathione Depletion on Antioxidant Enzymes in the Epididymis, Seminal Vesicles, and Liver and on Spermatozoa Motility in the Aging Brown Norway Rat
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Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a role in male infertility, where excessive amounts impair spermatozoal motility. Epididymal antioxidant enzymes protect spermatozoa from oxidative damage in the epididymal lumen. Antioxidant secretions from the seminal vesicle protect spermatozoa after ejaculation. As it is known that with age there is increased generation of ROS, the goals of this study were to determine how aging affects the response of antioxidant enzymes in the epididymis, seminal vesicles, and liver to l-buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine (BSO) mediated glutathione (GSH) depletion, and to examine the impact of GSH depletion on motility parameters of spermatozoa from the cauda epididymidis in young (4-mo-old) and old (21-mo-old) rats. Levels of GSH and glutathione disulfide (GSSG), as well as activities of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase, were measured in the caput, corpus and cauda epididymidis, seminal vesicles, and liver. Spermatozoal motility was assessed by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Significant age-related changes in antioxidant enzyme activities were found in the liver and cauda epididymidis. Glutathione depletion clearly affected tissues in both young and old. The compounding effect of age was most evident in the cauda epididymidis, seminal vesicles, and liver, where antioxidant enzyme activities changed significantly. Additionally, spermatozoa motility was adversely affected after BSO treatment in both age groups, but significantly more so in older animals. In summary, the male reproductive tissues and liver undergo age-related changes in antioxidant enzyme activities and in their response to GSH depletion.

Ekaterina V. Zubkova and Bernard Robaire "Effect of Glutathione Depletion on Antioxidant Enzymes in the Epididymis, Seminal Vesicles, and Liver and on Spermatozoa Motility in the Aging Brown Norway Rat," Biology of Reproduction 71(3), 1002-1008, (1 September 2004). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.104.028373
Received: 11 February 2004; Accepted: 1 May 2004; Published: 1 September 2004
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