Oxidative Damage to Sperm DNA: Attack and Defense

  • Joel R. DrevetEmail author
  • R. J. Aitken
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1166)


Due to its particular “silent” metabolic state, without transcription or translation, and a low level of cytosolic protective activities, mature sperm is a cellular type of aerobic organisms particularly at risk of oxidative damage. Despite the efforts of the male genital tract to treat this problem, a subcellular compartment of the sperm, the nucleus, and consequently, the paternal DNA cannot be effectively protected. There is an accumulation of evidence that oxidative damage to sperm DNA is quite common in male infertilities/subfertilities with potential harmful impacts on reproductive success, including the transgenerational inheritance of a paternal chromosomal lot carrying mutations.


Reactive oxygen species Male infertility Lipid peroxidation Oxidative DNA damage DNA repair 


Authors’ Roles

J.R.D. drafted the article, which was then edited and revised by R.J.A. Both authors approved the final version of this article.

Conflict of Interest

J.R.D. and R.J.A. are scientific advisors of a US-based biotech company (Celloxess LLC, New Jersey, USA) which has a commercial interest in the detection and treatment of oxidative stress.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GReD Laboratory, CNRS UMR6293 – INSERM U1103 – Université Clermont Auvergne, Faculté de MédecineClermont-FerrandFrance
  2. 2.Priority Research Centre for Reproductive Science, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  3. 3.Hunter Medical Research InstituteNew Lambton HeightsAustralia

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