Coenzyme Q10 levels in idiopathic and varicocele-associated asthenozoospermia

G. Balercia, G. Arnaldi, F. Fazioli, M. Serresi, R. Alleva, A. Mancini, F. Mosca, G. R. Lamonica, F. Mantero, G. P. Littarru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and of its reduced and oxidized forms (ubiquinol, QH2, and ubiquinone, Qox) have been determined in sperm cells and seminal plasma of idiopathic (IDA) and varicocele-associated (VARA) asthenozoospermic patients and of controls. The results have shown significantly lower levels of coenzyme Q10 and of its reduced form, QH2, in semen samples from patients with asthenospermia; furthermore, the coenzyme Q10 content was mainly associated with spermatozoa. Interestingly, sperm cells from IDA patients exhibited significantly lower levels of CoQ10 and QH2 when compared to VARA ones. The QH2/Qox ratio was significantly lower in sperm cells from IDA patients and in seminal plasma from IDA and VARA patients when compared with the control group. The present data suggest that the QH2/Qox ratio may be an index of oxidative stress and its reduction, a risk factor for semen quality. Therefore, the present data could suggest that sperm cells, characterized by low motility and abnormal morphology, have low levels of coenzyme Q10. As a consequence, they could be less capable in dealing with oxidative stress which could lead to a reduced QH2/Qox ratio. Furthermore, the significantly lower levels of CoQ10 and QH2 levels in sperm cells from IDA patients, when compared to VARA ones, enable us to hypothesize a pathogenetic role of antioxidant impairment, at least as a cofactor, in idiopathic forms of asthenozoospermia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalAndrologia
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Asthenozoospermia
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Male subfertility
  • Ubiquinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Endocrinology

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