IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/e415

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Apoptosis, spermatogenesis and male infertility

Show Less
1 Division of Endocrinology, Central Drug Research Institute (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), Lucknow, UP, India
2 Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University, Lucknow, UP, India

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Rajender Singh

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(2), 746–754;
Published: 1 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male reproductive health and its management)

Apoptosis is an essential physiological process demonstrated to play important roles in diverse physiological processes. As true for several other organs, apoptosis occurs at a high rate in the primary male reproductive organ, testis. Apoptosis is also exhibited by spermatozoa in the human ejaculate. Caspase activation, externalization of phosphatidylserine, alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential and DNA fragmentation are markers of apoptosis found in ejaculated human spermatozoa. These markers appear in excess in sub-fertile men and functionally incompetent spermatozoa. The importance of apoptotic pathway in spermatogenesis and sperm maturation is also indicated by the expression of several markers of this pathway in the testis and epididymis, respectively. This process of regulated cell death serves several important functions in the testis, a few of which include maintaining appropriate germ cell to Sertoli cells ratio, removing defective germ cells and maintenance of overall quality control in sperm production. This review presents an update on the role of apoptosis in male reproduction and fertility, and implications of altered apoptosis in male infertility.

Male infertility
Back to top