Male infertility: Role of vitamin D and oxidative stress markers

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Spermatozoa are vulnerable to oxidative stress because of their inherent reduced antioxidant defence and DNA repair mechanisms. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in sperm plasma membrane break down to cytotoxic lipid aldehyde, 4-Hydroxynonenal, whereas 3-Nitrotyrosine is generated by peroxynitrite induced tyrosine nitration. Both oxidative stress markers contribute to altered sperm function and infertility. Vitamin D, a membrane antioxidant, has a potential scavenger capacity. We compared oxidative stress markers and vitamin D in male subjects with normal and altered sperm parameters and explored association of these markers: 4-Hydroxynonenal and 3-Nitrotyrosine with Vitamin D. Higher 4-Hydroxynonenal levels in altered sperm parameter group and a negative correlation with sperm count, motility and morphology (p < 0.001) was observed. Vitamin D serum concentration in altered sperm parameters was less (p = 0.016) showing a significant positive correlation with sperm count and morphology. 4-Hydroxynonenal was significantly higher in altered sperm parameters showing negative correlation with vitamin D. Highest serum concentrations of 4-Hydroxynonenal were observed in vitamin D-deficient subjects. Significantly higher concentration of 4-Hydroxynonenal was estimated in altered sperm parameters of vitamin D sufficient group (p < 0.001). This suggests 4-Hydroxynonenal as an oxidative stress marker leading to altered sperm function and infertility with some association with vitamin D; needs to be explored.


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