Sánchez-Gutiérrez M, García-Montalvo EA, Izquierdo-Vega JA, Del Razo LM Effect of dietary selenium deficiency on the in vitro fertilizing ability of mice spermatozoa. Cell Biol Toxicol. 2008;24(4):321-9. ISSN: 0742-2091.
Selenium is an essential micronutrient for mammals, being integral part of antioxidant system. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of selenium deficiency on in vitro fertilization (IVF) capacity of spermatozoa and on oxidative stress in these cells. Male C57BL/6N mice were maintained on selenium-deficient or selenium-sufficient diets (0.02 or 0.2 ppm of selenium as selenomethionine, respectively) for 4 months. Liver glutathione peroxidase activity measurements were used to confirm selenium deficiency. Sperm quality and IVF capability among both groups were evaluated. To assess oxidative damage, lipid peroxidation as malondialdehyde production was determined in spermatozoa as well as the testes. Ultrastructural analyses of spermatozoa nuclei using transmission electron microscopy were also performed. The percentage of eggs fertilized with sperm from selenium-deficient mice was significantly decreased by approximately 67%. This reduced fertilization capacity was accompanied by increased levels of lipid peroxidation in both the testes and sperm, indicating that selenium deficiency induced oxidative stress. Consistent with this finding, spermatozoa from selenium-deficient animals exhibited altered chromatin condensation. Deficiency in dietary selenium decreases the reproductive potential of male mice and is associated with oxidative damage in spermatozoa.