Gossypol pp 245-255 | Cite as

Deactivation of Spermatozoal Fertilizing Capability by Gossypol

  • Wung-Wai Tso
Part of the Reproductive Biology book series (RBIO)


Although the toxicology of gossypol has been studied extensively in countries where cottonseed was used as a source of dietary protein for the livestock industry, a renewed interest in this compound was prompted by the recent Chinese discovery of its remarkably anti-fertility effect on males of a variety of mammalian species including humans [1, 2, 3, 4]. Studies have shown that the compound causes a reduction of epididymal spermatozoal motility and a gradual suppression of spermatogenesis [5, 6]. While the relationship of these two effects is not understood, the suppression of spermatogenesis appears to be reversible in most cases. The male gonad is not the main depot of gossypol, and its antifertility action does not stem from its effect on the endocrine system [7, 8, 9, 10]. Many animal studies have focused on adverse gossypol effects on spermatozoal morphology and enzyme activities [11, 12]. The results of most of these studies, though insufficient to establish the precise mechanism of gossypol’s antifertility effect, have sketched a simple picture suggesting that an interruption of energy metabolicm might be a vital part of its mode of action.


Sperm Motility Seminal Plasma Uncouple Effect Gossypol Acetic Acid Antifertility Effect 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wung-Wai Tso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatin, N.THong Kong

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