Role of Caspase PARP and Oxidative Stress in Male Infertility

Tamer M. Said and Fariba Khosravi

Abstract The etiology and pathogenesis of male infertility remain not well defined. Oxidative stress has been identified as one of the major causes of male infertility. Integrity of the sperm DNA, which could be caused by oxidative stress, also plays an important role in vivo and in vitro male fertility. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a DNA repair enzyme that has been demonstrated in mature spermatozoa and fertile men. PARP becomes activated in an attempt to repair oxidative DNA strand breaks. Higher levels of cleaved PARP (cPARP) have been reported in infertile men. Caspases play an important role in mediating and upregulating apoptosis. The cleavage of PARP by caspase 3 inactivates PARP in two segments and inhibits the function of PARP as a DNA repair enzyme. Therefore, high levels of cPARP may be considered as a new marker of apoptosis in sperm of infertile men. In this chapter, we define the relationship between caspases, PARP, and oxidative stress and their role in male infertility.

Keywords Caspase • Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase • Oxidative stress • Male infertility • Semen parameters • DNA fragmentation

Andrology Laboratory and Reproductive Tissue Bank, The Toronto Institute for Reproductive Medicine, 56 Aberfoyle Crescent, Toronto, ON, Canada M8X2W4

e-mail: [email protected]

F. Khosravi, MSc

ReproMed, Department of Andrology, 56 Aberfoyle Crescent, Suite 300, Toronto, ON, Canada M8X2W4

A. Agarwal et al. (eds.), Studies on Men's Health and Fertility, Oxidative Stress in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-776-7_12, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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