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OXIDATION

Evaluation of sperm oxidative stress

Oxisperm® allows the detection and semi-quantification of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as the Superoxide anion, present in the various fractions of the ejaculate

One of the causes of damage to the spermatozoon and male infertility is related to the presence of ROS in the ejaculate. ROS may have several origins, but they have a negative and direct impact on sperm motility and DNA integrity.


Graphical representation of intensity level color, according to the capacity of the sample colorimetric reactions to produce sperm.

Oxisperm® is an easy-to-apply methodology that allows the evaluation, through a colourimetric reaction, of the presence of oxidative stress, in the overall ejaculate, each of the spermatozoa of this ejaculate, or even in the seminal plasma.

Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to counteract their potential negative effects. Blockage of oxidative stress is achieved through the action of antioxidant substances, which the body generates itself or which are administered externally.

Changes in the normal redox state of cells can cause cell toxicity, induced directly by the reactive oxygen, or from its derivatives like superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals or peroxides. These types of molecules can generate damage to all cell components--proteins, lipids, and DNA--if not offset by specific antioxidant action.

The human spermatozoon is highly susceptible to oxidative stress. Peroxidative damage directly affects the lipid component of the membrane and also generates breaks in the chains of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

Oxisperm®, for its clinical application, is an easy-to-perform and reliable assay that allows the measurement of potential excess superoxide anions present in the ejaculate. The test is based on the ability of nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) salt to change colour in the presence of superoxide ions after forming formazan, a crystalline substance that is insoluble in water (Baehner et al., 1976).

Oxisperm® shows differences in the oxidative capacity of the ejaculate through a colourimetric reaction. Oxisperm® allows the pinpointing of the effect of the reaction in spermatozoa or leukocytes. Additionally, the contribution of the seminal plasma to the final colour obtained can be evaluated.

In particular, the evaluation of damage to spermatozoon DNA and the imbalance in oxidative stress provide a measure of the normality of a sperm sample, and generates complementary, diagnostic, and prognostic information to complement the parameters obtained from routine sperm analysis studies.

On the other hand, our diagnostic kit allows the evaluation of the effect of a possible prescription for antioxidants for the patient. It is important to validate the effect of these antioxidants in the patient every so often to determine whether