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Water- and Fat-Soluble Antioxidants in Human Seminal Plasma and Serum of Fertile Males

1
Institute of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Catholic University of Rome, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy
2
Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy
3
Alma Res Fertility Center, Centro di Fecondazione Assistita Alma Res, Via Parenzo 12, 00199 Rome, Italy
4
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Division of Medical Biochemistry, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
5
LTA-Biotech srl, Viale Don Orione, 3D, 95047 Paternò (CT), Italy
6
Oasi Research Institute—IRCCS, Via Conte Ruggero, 73, 94018 Troina (EN), Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Antioxidants 2019, 8(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8040096
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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PDF [818 KB, uploaded 11 April 2019]
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Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are physiologically involved in functions like sperm maturation, capacitation and acrosome reaction, but their excess is involved in male infertility. Antioxidants in seminal plasma (SP) are an important factor balancing physiologic and harmful ROS activities. In this study, we determined and compared the full profiles of the water- and fat-soluble antioxidants in SP and serum of 15 healthy fertile subjects (ranging between the ages of 35 and 42 years). Ejaculates were obtained after 2–5 days of sexual abstinence. After liquefaction and withdrawal of an aliquot for the sperm count, samples were centrifuged to obtain SP. Thirty min after semen donation, a venous blood sample was collected from each subject. Donors with lower SP concentrations of ascorbic acid (n = 5) or α-tocopherol (n = 5) received a 4 week oral administration of either vitamin C (100 mg/day) or vitamin E (30 mg/day). They were then re-assayed to determine the SP and serum levels of ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol. SP and serum samples were properly processed and analyzed by HPLC methods suitable to determine water (ascorbic acid, glutathione (GSH) and uric acid) and fat-soluble (all-trans-retinoic acid, all-trans-retinol, α-tocopherol, carotenoids and coenzyme Q10) antioxidants. Data demonstrate that only ascorbic acid is higher in SP than in serum (SP/serum ratio = 4.97 ± 0.88). The other water-soluble antioxidants are equally distributed in the two fluids (GSH SP/serum ratio = 1.14 ± 0.34; uric acid SP/serum ratio = 0.82 ± 0.12). All fat-soluble antioxidants are about 10 times less concentrated in SP than in serum. In donors treated with vitamin C or vitamin E, ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol significantly increased in both fluids. However, the SP/serum ratio of ascorbic acid was 4.15 ± 0.45 before and 3.27 ± 0.39 after treatment, whilst those of α-tocopherol were 0.11 ± 0.03 before and 0.10 ± 0.02 after treatment. The results of this study, by showing the peculiar composition in water- and fat-soluble antioxidants SP, indicate that it is likely that still-unknown mechanisms allow ascorbic acid accumulation in SP against a concentration gradient. SP mainly relies its defenses on water- rather than fat-soluble antioxidants and on the mechanisms ensuring their transfer from serum. View Full-Text
Keywords: water-soluble antioxidants; fat-soluble antioxidants; human seminal plasma; human serum; reactive oxygen species; oxidative/nitrosative stress; male infertility water-soluble antioxidants; fat-soluble antioxidants; human seminal plasma; human serum; reactive oxygen species; oxidative/nitrosative stress; male infertility
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Lazzarino, G.; Listorti, I.; Bilotta, G.; Capozzolo, T.; Amorini, A.M.; Longo, S.; Caruso, G.; Lazzarino, G.; Tavazzi, B.; Bilotta, P. Water- and Fat-Soluble Antioxidants in Human Seminal Plasma and Serum of Fertile Males. Antioxidants 2019, 8, 96.

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