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Fertil Steril. 2009 May;91(5 Suppl):2273-80. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.06.046. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Effects of autoimmunity to the prostate on the fertility of the male rat.

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Centro de Investigaciones en Bioquímica Clínica e Inmunología (CIBICI-CONICET), Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.



To study the putative direct consequences of autoimmunity to the prostate on male semen quality and fertility potential.


Experimental animal study.


Immunology, CIBICI-CONICET, National University of Cordoba, Argentina.


Twelve male and 24 female Wistar rats.


Autoimmune prostatitis was induced following a standard protocol.


Citric acid, zinc, sperm vitality, reactive oxygen species levels, total antioxidant capacity, DNA fragmentation, and lipid peroxidation were analyzed in semen samples. Mating studies were also performed, and different fertility parameters (potency, fecundity index, fertility index, fetus size, and preimplantation and postimplantation embryo loss) were assayed.


Citric acid and zinc levels were decreased in seminal samples from autoimmune rats. Increased reactive oxygen species values and lower levels of total antioxidant capacity were shown in semen samples from autoimmune animals. Moreover, decreased levels of sperm vitality, high percentages of damaged DNA sperm cells, and elevated lipid peroxidation levels also were shown in semen from autoimmune rats. A significant decrease in the fertility index and augmented percentages of embryo loss were observed in the autoimmune group.


An autoimmune response to the prostate impairs its functionality and induces important alterations in seminal oxidative balance, producing higher levels of lipid peroxidation and sperm DNA damage. Moreover, autoimmunity to the prostate gland seriously compromises male fertility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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