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New areas of male infertility research -the impact of mitochondrial DNA on sperm

The definition of infertility is that a couple has not taken any contraceptive measures for more than a year, and her sexual life is normal without successful pregnancy. This is a public health problem that affects about 10%of the world. 50%of these cases involve male factors, including individual factors (30%) and common factors with women (20%). These numbers are still rising, and studies have shown that the quality of male sperm has declined significantly over the past 10 years. In addition, although WHO has a clear clinical significance for the classification of infertility, there are also some limitations, especially the predictive value of spontaneous pregnancy. Therefore, other sperm factors that exceed the scope of conventional observation can allow us to better understand some male fertility problems, and even explain some infertility cases that cannot be explained. In order to better understand the pathogenesis of male infertility and improve its diagnosis and management level, it is necessary to further understand sperm pathology.

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The most famous role of sperm is to fertilize oocytes and pass his father’s genome to future generations. These highly specialized cells have a unique structure that contains all elements necessary for each fertilization stage and embryo development. The mature sperm consists of the head, nucleus, neck, and whip, and the whip hair contains a middle section with mitochondrial spiral. Mitochondrial is the center of cell energy production, but they also have various other functions. Although mitochondrial is considered an indispensable part of sperm, its exact pathological and physiological effects and functions are very complicated. In addition, mitochondria only indirectly participate in cytoplasm inheritance, because their DNA, that is, the patriarchal mitochondrial DNA, will not be passed to the offspring.

Recently, some researchers have summarized the existing documents about mitochondria in sperm, especially human -related literature to better understand the abnormal phenomenon that male infertility may involve. This paper has been published in the journal of Human Reproduction Update.

Researchers use PUBMED to search the original articles and comments on the peer evaluation of human sperm and mitochondria in the Medline database. The keywords used in search are divided into three categories: mitochondria or mitochondria DNA, sperm; sperm, active oxygen species; calcium, apoptosis or signal pathway. These keywords are combined with other related search phrases. The references of these articles are used to get more articles.

Studies have found that sperm mitochondria have unique structural and functional characteristics. They are in the center of metabolism, so that sperm uses different energy substrates in the process of reaching the fertilized area. They also participate in oxidative reduction balance, calcium regulation and apoptosis pathway, which are necessary for whipping movement, obtaining capacity, top body reaction and supporting. Therefore, in many cases, the deterioration of any of these different functions is likely to be related to the changes in sperm parameters and/or fertility. The connection between mitochondrial genome and sperm quality seems more complicated. The number of MTDNA in sperm and a large missing MTDNA are directly related to the sperm quality. In contrast, the impact of mutations seems more heterogeneous, depending on their pathogenicity.

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The role of mitochondria in reproduction, especially the importance of the quality of the supporting support, has opened up new areas of infertility research and understanding with some publications about this issue in recent years. Although the oocyte mitochondria are considered to be necessary for early embryo development, and the patriarchal mitochondria seems to be unnecessary after fertilization, it is essential to sperm function and fertilization. In the context of the current sperm quality decreased significantly, it is very interesting to better understand male infertility.

参考文献:Magalie Boguenet, Pierre-Emmanuel Bouet, Andrew Spiers, Pascal Reynier, Pascale May-Panloup. Mitochondria: their role in spermatozoa and in male infertility. Human Reproduction Update, dmab001, https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd /dmab001

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