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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 513196, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/513196
Review Article

Variations in Antioxidant Genes and Male Infertility

Bolan Yu1,2 and Zhaofeng Huang3,4,5

1Key Laboratory for Major Obstetric Diseases of Guangdong Province, Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China
2Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China
3Institute of Human Virology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
4Department of Biochemistry, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
5Key Laboratory of Tropical Diseases Control, Sun Yat-sen University, Ministry of Education in China, Guangzhou 510080, China

Received 21 May 2015; Revised 9 September 2015; Accepted 15 October 2015

Academic Editor: Katrien Stouffs

Copyright © 2015 Bolan Yu and Zhaofeng Huang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated from both endogenous and environmental resources, which in turn may cause defective spermatogenesis and male infertility. Antioxidant genes, which include catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione S-transferase (GST), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), and superoxide dismutase (SOD), play important roles in spermatogenesis and normal sperm function. In this review, we discuss the association between variations in major antioxidant genes and male infertility. Numerous studies have suggested that genetic disruption or functional polymorphisms in these antioxidant genes are associated with a higher risk for male infertility, which include low sperm quality, oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, oligozoospermia, and subfertility. The synergistic effects of environmental ROS and functional polymorphisms on antioxidant genes that result in male infertility have also been reported. Therefore, variants in antioxidant genes, which independently or synergistically occur with environmental ROS, affect spermatogenesis and contribute to the occurrence of male infertility. Large cohort and multiple center-based population studies to identify new antioxidant genetic variants that increase susceptibility to male infertility as well as validate its potential as genetic markers for diagnosis and risk assessment for male infertility for precise clinical approaches are warranted.