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Andrology. 2014 Nov;2(6):899-909. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-2927.2014.00273.x. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

Sodium nitroprusside suppresses male fertility in vitro.

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Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.


Sodium nitroprusside is a nitric oxide donor involved in the regulation of the motility, hyperactivation, capacitation, and acrosome reaction (AR) of spermatozoa. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this regulation has not yet been elucidated. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate the molecular basis for the effects of sodium nitroprusside on different processes in spermatozoa and its consequences on subsequent oocyte fertilization and embryo development. In this in vitro study, mouse spermatozoa were incubated with various concentrations of sodium nitroprusside (1, 10, and 100 μM) for 90 min. Our results showed that sodium nitroprusside inhibited sperm motility and motion kinematics in a dose-dependent manner by significantly enhancing intracellular iron and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and decreasing Ca(2+), and adenosine triphosphate levels in spermatozoa. Moreover, short-term exposure of spermatozoa to sodium nitroprusside increased the tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins involved in PKA-dependent regulation of intracellular calcium levels, which induced a robust AR. Finally, sodium nitroprusside significantly decreased the rates of fertilization and blastocyst formation during embryo development. Based on these results, we propose that sodium nitroprusside increases ROS production and precocious AR may alter overall sperm physiology, leading to poor fertilization and compromised embryonic development.


ROS; acrosome reaction; embryo development; fertilization; sodium nitroprusside

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