Decrease in male mouse fertility by hydrogen sulfide and/or ammonia can Be inheritable

Chemosphere. 2018 Mar;194:147-157. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.11.164. Epub 2017 Nov 30.


Numerous epidemiological studies suggest that air pollutants cause a decline in the quality of human spermatozoa and thus a reduction in fertility. However, the exact cause of infertility remains unknown. Air pollution gases, such as NH3 and H2S are either free or bound to airborne particular materials (PM) and are abundant and reactive. The aim of this current investigation was to explore the impacts of NH3 and/or H2S on male fertility and the underlying mechanisms. Male mouse exposed to H2S and/or NH3 and after two generations were used to evaluate the impacts on fertility. The fertility, and spermatozoa quality parameters and proteins involved in spermatogenesis were investigated. Our current investigation demonstrates: i) H2S and/or NH3 decrease male fertility by 20-30%, reduce the spermatozoa concentration about 20-40%, decrease 10-20%, increase around 30%; ii) the reduction in male fertility by H2S and/or NH3 can be inheritable; iii) H2S and/or NH3 can diminish male fertility through the disruption of spermatogenesis without affecting other body parameters such as body weight and organ index. One component of air pollutants, for example NH3, does not have a severe impact; however, two or more pollutants such as H2S and NH3 combined can cause serious health problems, especially with regard to male fertility. We suggest that greater attention should be paid to these air pollutants to improve human health and fertility.

Keywords: H(2)S; Heritance; Male fertility; NH(3); Spermatogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollution
  • Ammonia / adverse effects*
  • Ammonia / analysis
  • Animals
  • Fertility / drug effects*
  • Gases / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / adverse effects*
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / analysis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Paternal Inheritance*
  • Spermatogenesis / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects


  • Air Pollutants
  • Gases
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen Sulfide