In vitro effects of peroxynitrite on human spermatozoa

Andrologia. 1999 Jul;31(4):195-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0272.1999.00279.x.


In the present study, the in vitro effects of peroxynitrite on sperm motility, lipid peroxidation and sulfhydryl content were examined. Sperm percentage motility and movement characteristics were assessed by a computer-assisted system. Lipid peroxidation was measured by determining malondialdehyde levels using the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method. Sperm sulfhydryl content was measured by a spectrophotometric method based on reduction of 5,5'-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) by sulfhydryl groups. Percentage motility, movement characteristics and sulfhydryl content decreased significantly in peroxynitrite-treated samples compared to decomposed peroxynitrite-treated samples. Lipid peroxidation in peroxynitrite-treated samples was significantly higher than in decomposed peroxynitrite-treated samples. These results indicate that peroxynitrite anion may cause sperm dysfunction through lipid peroxidation stimulation and total SH depletion.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Nitrates / metabolism
  • Nitrates / toxicity*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Nitrates
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Superoxides
  • peroxynitric acid
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde