Authors:Eva Tvrdá, Zuzana Kňažická, László Bárdos, Péter Massányi, and Norbert Lukáč
Oxidative stress is a state related to increased cellular damage caused by oxygen and oxygen-derived free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is a serious condition, as ROS and their metabolites attack DNA, lipids and proteins, alter enzymatic systems and cell signalling pathways, producing irreparable alterations, cell death and necrosis. While small amounts of ROS have been shown to be required for several functions of spermatozoa, their excessive levels can negatively impact the quality of spermatozoa and impair their overall fertilising capacity. These questions have recently attracted the attention of the scientific community; however, research aimed at exploring the role of oxidative stress and antioxidants associated with male fertility is still at its initial stages. This review summarises the current facts available in this field and intends to stimulate interest in basic and clinical research, especially in the development of effective methods for the diagnosis and therapy of semen damage caused by oxidative stress.