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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Mitochondrial Functionality and Chemical Compound Action on Sperm Function

Author(s): S. Amaral, R. S. Tavares, M. Baptista, M. I. Sousa, A. Silva, S. Escada-Rebelo, C. P. Paiva and J. Ramalho-Santos

Volume 23, Issue 31, 2016

Page: [3575 - 3606] Pages: 32

DOI: 10.2174/0929867323666160425113518

Price: $65


During the last decade, several studies have shown that mitochondrial parameters, such as integrity, respiratory activity, membrane potential and ROS production are intimately linked with sperm quality. Given the limitations of conventional semen analyses in terms of predicting male fertility, an increasing number of studies are focusing on the characterization of sperm mitochondria in order to more accurately assess sperm functionality. Moreover, mitochondria from several organs, such as the liver, have been described as a powerful screening tool for drug safety, being an easy in vitro model to assess the toxicity of distinct families of compounds. Given that mitochondrial functionality is intimately related to sperm homeostasis, it has become important to understand how compounds, ranging from dietary supplements, environmental pollutants, dependency-inducing drugs to pharmacological agents (such as erectile dysfunction-targeted drugs and male contraceptives) affect sperm mitochondrial function. In this review, we discuss studies describing the effects of various chemical agents on spermatozoa, with particular emphasis on mitochondrial function. From the extensive literature analyzed, we conclude that in some cases the role of sperm mitochondria as putative predictors of sperm functionality is very obvious, while in others further studies are needed to clarify this issue.

Keywords: Mitochondria, sperm, male fertility, lifestyle-associated compounds, male contraceptives, sensor.

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