Negative Effects of ROS

In contrast to a beneficial role these oxidizing agents can play in various cellular events, it must be strongly considered that all cellular components, including nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, are potential OS targets as a result of supra-physiological concentrations of ROS [1, 32]. Due to the fact that free radicals predominantly attack the closest stable molecule, which subsequently turns that specific particle into a free radical, ROS can be involved in a cascade of reactions which can damage a wide variety of biomolecules [31, 36]. The action which occurs on a molecular level by the interaction of ROS is the removal of hydrogen molecules [37] which results in a loss of motility [38], as well as other spermatozoa functions such as capacitation and acrosomal reactions [36] . Various conditions can promote the production of ROS which include: an increase in cellular metabolism, loss of antioxidant capability, and presence of inflammatory cells, for example leukocytes [1]. Two approaches prevent possible cell damage from pathologically or physiologically produced ROS. The first preventative step involves antioxidants which are compounds that scavenge and suppress ROS. The action of antioxidants counterbalances the damaging effect of OS. The second action is the control of the reactive oxidants in a microenvironment which limits the possible damaging effect that the ROS can have [1],

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