Cigarette Smoking and Structural, Biochemical, Functional Alterations of Spermatozoa and their Consequences for ART

Review Article

Austin J In Vitro Fertili. 2016; 3(1): 1027.

Cigarette Smoking and Structural, Biochemical, Functional Alterations of Spermatozoa and their Consequences for ART?

Mohamed Eid Hammadeh¹*, Houda Amor² and Montenarh M³

¹Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of the Saarland, Germany

²Molecular Genetic and Reproduction Biology, Farhat Hached University Hospital, Tunisia

³Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of the Saarland, Germany

*Corresponding author: Mohamed Eid Hammadeh, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IVF & Andrology Laboratory, University of the Saarland, D-66421, Homburg/Saar, Germany

Received: February 11, 2016; Accepted: April 28, 2016; Published: May 13, 2016


Oxidative stress as a result of smoking is a condition that comes from overproduction of Reactive Oxygen Spezies (ROS) that exceeds the antioxidant capacity of the tissue. ROS causes cellular damage including destruction of all cellular components including lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and sugars.

Reactive oxygen species include free radicals, as well as other oxygenrelated reactive compounds. ROS are formed during reduction of molecular oxygen to water in cellular respiration in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, by the cyclooxygenase pathway, and by cellular enzymes such cytochrome P450 oxidase and xanthine oxidase. The most common species that have potential implication for reproductive biology include superoxide anion (O2•-), Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), peroxyl (ROO-) and hydroxyl (OH•-) radicals.

ROS may have good or harmful effects on sperm quality depending on the level of ROS, their nature, location and length of exposure. Under physiological conditions, low levels of ROS generated by spermatozoa are necessary for their acrosomal reaction and capacitation. There is a strong evidence for an association between oxidative stress and male sub fertility. The correlation between spermatozoa functions and oxidative stress have been identified by many studies. ROS negatively affect sperm function by contributing to the occurrence of Lipid Per Oxidation (LPO). Furthermore, severity of oxidative stress increased as the levels of antioxidants decreased. The effect of ROS on male fertility is determined by their concentration in seminal plasma but independent of their sources of production. Significant opposite correlation had been established between defective sperm chromatin structure and fertility.

This review will describe and discuss the current literature regarding cigarette smoking and ROS generation, oxidative stress and their physiology and pathology role and their consequences on Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) outcome.

Keywords: Cigarette Smoking; Sperm; Nuclear sperm protein alteration; ART


The impact of smoking on fertility

Infertility is a common reproductive disorder that affects approximately one of six couples worldwide and male factors account for 40-50% of all infertility cases [1]. It has been suggested that not only discrete genetic or environmental causes but also interactions between the two factors contribute to male infertility [2] (Figure 1).