Effect of in vitro selenium supplementation on sperm quality in asthenoteratozoospermic men

Andrologia. 2018 Mar;50(2). doi: 10.1111/and.12869. Epub 2017 Aug 6.


Sperm DNA damage, excessive oxidative stress and decrease in motility ‎may lead to low fertilisation or poor‎ assisted reproductive techniques outcomes in asthenoteratozoospermic ‎men. Selenium was considered as essential element for male reproductive functions. Selenium has important role in enzymatic process for elimination of excessive reactive oxygen species and helps to maintain membrane integrity. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of selenium supplementation on sperm quality, DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial membrane potential and membrane lipid peroxidation during sperm sampling in vitro at different times. In this experimental study, semen samples were collected from 50 asthenoteratozoospermic men. Samples were divided into two groups as control group and test group (incubated with 2 μg/ml selenium at 37°C for 2, 4 and 6 hr). Motility and viability were assessed based on WHO 2010 criteria. Mitochondrial membrane potential, sperm DNA fragmentation and malondialdehyde levels were evaluated in each group. Results revealed that motility, viability and mitochondrial membrane potential were significantly higher in the test group (p < .05). Also malondialdehyde levels were significantly lower in the test group (p < .03). DNA fragmentation significantly decreased in the test group after 6 hr of incubation (p < .02). In conclusion, in vitro selenium supplementation may protect spermatozoa from maltreatment effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during sperm sampling via keeping enzymatic and antioxidant process in optimum condition.

Keywords: DNA fragmentation; asthenoteratozoospermia; reactive oxygen species; selenium; spermatozoa.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Asthenozoospermia / physiopathology
  • Asthenozoospermia / therapy*
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted*
  • Selenium / pharmacology*
  • Semen Analysis
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Sperm Retrieval / adverse effects
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Selenium