International Journal of Infertility & Fetal Medicine

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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2023 ) > List of Articles


The Effects of Cigarette Smoke-induced Biophysical ROS on Spermatozoa Heads and Telomere Shortening in Infertile Smokers: A Prospective Study

TB Sridharan, Kamini Rao, Parameswari Ranganathan

Keywords : Acrosome, Cigarette smoking, Free radicals, Reactive oxygen species, Sperm telomere, 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine

Citation Information : Sridharan T, Rao K, Ranganathan P. The Effects of Cigarette Smoke-induced Biophysical ROS on Spermatozoa Heads and Telomere Shortening in Infertile Smokers: A Prospective Study. Int J Infertil Fetal Med 2023; 14 (3):109-116.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10016-1318

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 28-11-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Background: Cigarette smoking is the leading source of oxidative species of free radicals, which causes an imbalance in the sperm's homeostatic state during spermatogenesis. Telomere length is influenced by a variety of factors, including oxidative stress, obesity, infection, telomere uncapping, and autoimmune disorders. Materials and methods: The study participants were divided into two groups—fertile nonsmokers (n = 85), who served as the control group, and infertile smokers (n = 85). The subjects chosen ranged in age from 26 to 39 years. After 48–72 hours of sexual abstinence by masturbation, semen samples were collected from each subject and allowed to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes for liquefaction. Following liquefaction, the samples were subjected to automated computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) to assess the quality of the sperm in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines from 2010. The morphological characteristics and velocity parameters were evaluated using CASA, just like the major semen characteristics. Results: The relative and absolute telomere length of sperm telomere loss was significantly affected by smoke toxicants in infertile subjects. Meanwhile, elevated 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OhdG)/dG and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in infertile smokers were negatively correlated with absolute telomere length, and sperm morphology was directly related to damaged or telomere-shortened sperm. Furthermore, halo sperm acrosome status with reduced live sperm cells was discovered in infertile smokers. Conclusion: Finally, our findings show that smoke toxicants directly or indirectly affect sperm cells by increasing oxidative species (ROS) and that sperm maturation, spermatogenesis, and sperm telomere shortening are all significant issues when sperm cells are subjected to oxidative stress, which causes deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) integrity to be compromised. Clinical significance: Male infertility, increased ROS, abortion, chromosomal abnormalities, defective sperm, and as a smoke toxicant apart from cancer, it also causes infertility in males.

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