Apoptosis

Apoptosis is an ongoing physiological phenomenon that leads to the elimination of abnormal spermatozoa in order to limit the number of male germ cells that can be maintained by Sertoli cells in the testes. Apoptosis is initiated in spermatozoa when high levels of ROS damage the mitochondrial membranes, and cytochrome-c proteins are released [1]. This activates caspases 9 and 3, which play essential roles in apoptosis. High levels of cytochrome-c and caspases have been correlated with increased levels of sperm DNA damage such as single and double-stranded DNA strand breaks [16] . Caspases have been also implicated in the decrease of sperm motility [17].

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