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Mitochondrion. 2010 Aug;10(5):419-28. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2010.05.015. Epub 2010 Jun 1.

Mitochondria, spermatogenesis and male infertility.

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Division of Endocrinology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, UP, India.


Mitochondria and its role in male reproduction has remained an enigma since long. Similarly, etiology of male infertility in a large percentage of individuals, mainly primary infertility, has evaded concrete conclusions. Oxidative metabolism, energy production and free radical generation are the principal biological reactions occurring inside mitochondria. In addition to the above, mitochondria participates in an important process of apoptosis. Mitochondrial causes of infertility have triggered interest because of its presence in the tail of sperm and immense need of energy for sperm motility. Several studies on mitochondria have strongly suggested its role in fertility, some of which support mitochondrial role presenting numerous hypotheses, whereas others deny its very existence as a causative factor. We have, in the present review of existing literature, covered the role of mitochondria right from spermatogenesis to male infertility.

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