Glutathione s-transferase as a marker of oxidative stress in human ejaculated spermatozoa from patients with pathospermia

Keywords: glutathione S-transferase activity; lipid peroxidation; antioxidant protection; sperm cells; pathospermia; male infertility


It is believed that the most common causes of male infertility are impairment of spermatogenesis and sperm functions. Glutathione S-transferases (EC play an important role in sperm physiology, specifically in antioxidant protection against oxidative damage. The catalase decomposition of lipid hydro-peroxides forms as a result of oxidative stress. We used a model of superoxide anion-generating system Fe3+/ascorbate or H2O2-induced stress to study the activity of glutathione s transferase in human ejaculated spermatozoa from patients with pathospermia and products of lipid peroxidation (TBARS) as a marker of oxidative stress. In the present study, dose dependent increase in the level of lipid peroxidation was observed for treatment with Fe3+/ascorbate or H2O2. The TBARS level was higher for sperm cells incubated with superoxide anion-generating system Fe3+/ascorbate than for H2O2. GSTs activity increased in spermatozoa treated with increasing concentration of superoxide anion-generating system Fe3+/ascorbate and H2O. We found that both Fe3+/ascorbate and H2O2 displayed similar inhibitory effects on sperm GSTs activity, however H2O2 at low concentrations activated enzyme activity only in normozoospermic samples, which can be explained as a defence response to oxidative stress. The time course of incubation with 100 μM H2O2 showed a sharp decrease in the enzyme activity during the first 5 min of incubation for both normozoospermic and pathozoospermic men. Preincubation of spermatozoa with GSH completely prevented the ROS-induced inhibition on GSTs only in normozoospermic samples. On the other hand, in pathospermic samples protectory effect of GSH was observed only against non-radical (H2O) radical, but not against radical (superoxide anion-generating system Fe3+/ascorbate) species. The results of our study showed higher oxygen-free radical production, evidenced by increased TBARS level in spermatozoa obtained from infertile men than normozoospermic men. The inhibitory effect of the radical (superoxide anion-generating system Fe3+/ascorbate) species on sperm GSTs activity and products of lipid peroxidation in sperm cells of fertile and infertile men were more expressed compared to non-radical (H2O) species. Our results indicate that estimation of sperm GSTs enzyme assays can be used as a bioindicator for impaired male fertility. The obtained results argue for a biological role of sperm GSTs in susceptibility of spermatozoa to oxidative damage and maintaining sperm antioxidant status.


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How to Cite
Vorobets, M. Z., Fafula, R. V., Besedina, A. S., Onufrovych, O. K., & Vorobets, D. Z. (2018). Glutathione s-transferase as a marker of oxidative stress in human ejaculated spermatozoa from patients with pathospermia. Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 9(2), 287-292.