Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study links high levels of nitric oxide to infertility and sperm DNA damage

Iranian scientists have linked a chemical that plays an essential role in many bodily functions to sperm DNA damage and male infertility, the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction heard today (Monday).

Dr Iraj Amiri, embryology laboratory director at the IVF Centre, Fatemieh Hospital, Hamadan, Iran, said: “In recent years nitric oxide (NO) has been recognised as a molecule that plays an important role in regulating the biology and physiology of the reproductive system, and we know that it can affect human sperm functions, such as motility, viability and metabolism. At low concentrations it can have a positive effect on cells, but a negative effect at high concentrations.

“In our study we discovered that there were significantly higher concentrations of nitric oxide in the seminal plasma of infertile patients than in healthy men. High concentrations of NO were significantly correlated with greater sperm DNA damage, and low concentrations of NO were significantly correlated with better sperm motility.”

The researchers collected semen samples from 45 infertile patients and 70 healthy sperm donors. Most of the infertile men had low sperm counts or poor sperm motility. They measured levels of NO and used a test that can detect DNA damage and repair in individual cells (single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay) to determine DNA damage.

“We found that the NO levels in the infertile men were, on average, twice as high as in the fertile men,” said Dr Amiri. “However, at this stage we were unable to find the cut-off point at which NO levels switched from having a positive effect to having a negative effect.

“This study indicates that infertile men have higher levels of sperm DNA damage and NO concentration in their seminal plasma compared to fertile men, and that the sperm DNA damage may be caused by the NO.”

Dr Amiri said the infertile men may have had higher concentrations of NO because of male genital tract disease and associated factors, such as inflammation and infection, which can lead to NO over-production. There were no significant differences between the fertile and infertile men as to whether they lived in the country or in built-up, traffic-congested areas, although Dr Amiri did not rule out the role played by NO in air pollution.

“Our next step is to identify the role of some environmental factors such as air pollution, jobs, disease and smoking on over-production of NO in infertile males. We also want to find a cut-off level at which NO changes from having a beneficial effect on sperm to having a negative affect.”

Mary Rice | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>