Special Issue "Reactive Oxygen Species and Male Fertility"

A special issue of Antioxidants (ISSN 2076-3921). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Outcomes of Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 16 October 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Cristian O'Flaherty

Department of Surgery (Urology Division), Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: spermatology; sperm capacitation; sperm motility; fertilization; cell signaling; redox signaling; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; lipid peroxidation; DNA integrity; male infertility

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are inevitable by-products of aerobic cells. A delicate balance between ROS production and antioxidant defenses is essential to assure cell function. This is also true for the spermatozoon—the male gamete with the unique goal of carrying and delivering the paternal genome into the oocyte. Oxidative stress promotes damage in the lipids, proteins, and DNA of spermatozoa, and this oxidative damage is associated with infertility. The ROS-dependent damage could occur at different stages of the production and maturation of the sperm. Thus, spermatogenesis, epididymal maturation, or the processes needed to acquire fertilizing ability can be affected by oxidative stress.

On the other hand, low and controlled levels of ROS are necessary to trigger and regulate sperm function. When ejaculated, spermatozoa are incapable of fertilizing the egg. They must reside in the oviduct of the female genital tract to undergo a yet-to-be-understood biochemical process called capacitation. Once capacitated, the spermatozoon undergoes the exocytotic event called acrosome reaction, and fertilizes the oocyte. ROS regulate the different molecular mechanisms such as sperm motility, capacitation, and acrosome reaction to assure fertilization.

This Special Issue welcomes original research and literature reviews concerning the role of reactive oxygen species in the following areas: spermatogenesis, epididymal maturation, sperm motility, capacitation, acrosome reaction, and male fertility. Moreover, the role of antioxidants in the regulation of male fertility as well as basic and clinical studies using antioxidant-based strategies for the treatment of male infertility are also welcome.

Dr. Cristian O'Flaherty
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Antioxidants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • spermatogenesis
  • epididymal maturation
  • sperm capacitation
  • acrosome reaction
  • sperm motility
  • sperm–egg interaction
  • male infertility
  • antioxidant treatments for male infertility
  • male reproduction

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
Antioxidants and Male Fertility: From Molecular Studies to Clinical Evidence
Antioxidants 2019, 8(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8040089
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Spermatozoa are physiologically exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a pivotal role on several sperm functions through activation of different intracellular mechanisms involved in physiological functions such as sperm capacitation associated-events. However, ROS overproduction depletes sperm antioxidant system, which leads to [...] Read more.
Spermatozoa are physiologically exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a pivotal role on several sperm functions through activation of different intracellular mechanisms involved in physiological functions such as sperm capacitation associated-events. However, ROS overproduction depletes sperm antioxidant system, which leads to a condition of oxidative stress (OS). Subfertile and infertile men are known to present higher amount of ROS in the reproductive tract which causes sperm DNA damage and results in lower fertility and pregnancy rates. Thus, there is a growing number of couples seeking fertility treatment and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) due to OS-related problems in the male partner. Interestingly, although ART can be successfully used, it is also related with an increase in ROS production. This has led to a debate if antioxidants should be proposed as part of a fertility treatment in an attempt to decrease non-physiological elevated levels of ROS. However, the rationale behind oral antioxidants intake and positive effects on male reproduction outcome is only supported by few studies. In addition, it is unclear whether negative effects may arise from oral antioxidants intake. Although there are some contrasting reports, oral consumption of compounds with antioxidant activity appears to improve sperm parameters, such as motility and concentration, and decrease DNA damage, but there is not sufficient evidence that fertility rates and live birth really improve after antioxidants intake. Moreover, it depends on the type of antioxidants, treatment duration, and even the diagnostics of the man’s fertility, among other factors. Literature also suggests that the main advantage of antioxidant therapy is to extend sperm preservation to be used during ART. Herein, we discuss ROS production and its relevance in male fertility and antioxidant therapy with focus on molecular mechanisms and clinical evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reactive Oxygen Species and Male Fertility)

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