IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 18 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.127
Open Access Original Research
Melatonin ameliorates cisplatin-induced asthenozoospermia via reducing oxidative stress
Show Less
1 Department of Urology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 210011 Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
2 Department of Reproduction, The Affiliated Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital with Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, 210029 Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
3 Department of Reproduction, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 210011 Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
*Correspondence: (Juan Ji); (Zhongqing Wei)
J. Mens. Health 2022, 18(1), 16;
Submitted: 16 July 2021 | Accepted: 17 August 2021 | Published: 19 January 2022
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background and objective: Cisplatin is an alkylating agent that has become a first-line therapy for some tumors. However, overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by cisplatin can cause male infertility, which can affect patients’ quality of life. Melatonin, which has the ability to provide resistance against oxidation, is a potential therapy for male infertility caused by cisplatin. Material and methods: Normal human spermatozoa samples were divided into (i) control group incubated with physiological saline solution; (ii) cisplatin group incubated with cisplatin; (iii) melatonin group incubated with melatonin; and (iv) melatonin + cisplatin group incubated with melatonin and cisplatin. Spermatozoa motility was measured using a computer-aided semen analysis system. Additionally, we determined spermatozoa apoptosis through terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling. The mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and levels of ATP, ROS, and malondialdehyde, as a metabolite of oxidative stress, were measured to study the mechanism by which melatonin can protect human spermatozoa. Results: Melatonin improved sperm motility, and decreased apoptosis and increased the ΔΨm value and level of ATP in sperm. More importantly, the overproduction of ROS induced by cisplatin was reduced by melatonin. Furthermore, western blotting revealed that melatonin increased the expression of antioxidant pathway components nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) that was reduced by cisplatin. Conclusion: Our studies suggested that melatonin might protect human spermatozoa against the effects of cisplatin through Nrf2/HO-1.

Sperm motility
Human sperm
81400758/National Natural Science Foundation of China
NMUB2019048/Science and technology development fund of Nanjing Medical University
Fig. 1.
Back to top