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Zygote. 2017 Dec;25(6):719-730. doi: 10.1017/S0967199417000600. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

A chemical compound based on methylxanthine-polyphenols lowers nitric oxide levels and increases post-thaw human sperm viability.

Author information

Universidade do Oeste de Santa Catarina,Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biociências e Saúde,Joaçaba,Brazil.
Universidade do Oeste de Santa Catarina. Getúlio Vargas Street 2125,Flor da Serra,Joaçaba-SC,ZP 89600000,Brazil.
Universidade Federal de Santa Maria,Laboratório de Biogenômica,Santa Maria,Brazil.
Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre,Programa de Pós-Graduação em Patologia,Porto Alegre,Brazil.
Centro Universitário Franciscano,Santa Maria,Brazil.
Universidade Luterana do Brasil,Carazinho,Brazil.
Universidade do Estado do Amazonas,Universidade Aberta da Terceira Idade,Programa de Pós-Graduação em Gerontologia e Saúde do Idoso,Manaus,Brazil.


We produced a new chemical compound based on methylxanthines and polyphenols (CCMP) present in the chemical matrix of guaraná (Paullinia cupana), a seed extract with antioxidant properties. After supplementation with the standard extract of resveratrol, a well documented antioxidant found in other plant sources, we investigated whether this resveratrol-enriched compound could improve sperm viability and modulate differentially reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in thawed sperm. Sperm samples obtained from healthy young donors were treated with different concentrations of guaraná extract (0.1, 1, 5 or 10 mg/ml) and cells were frozen at -80°C for 24 h. In addition, the potential protective effects of guaraná treatment on sperm treated with pro-oxidant compound (200 µM hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) were assessed. Samples were also exposed to three concentrations of CCMP before being frozen in liquid nitrogen (-196°C) or in an ultrafreezer (-80°C) for 24 h, and both pre-freezing and post-thaw measurements of viability and oxidative stress were performed. Guaraná supplementation at 10 mg/ml significantly increased post-thaw viability and decreased oxidative metabolism of the sperm. Moreover, selected concentrations of CCMP improved viability and oxidative metabolism in sperm samples pre-freezing. Furthermore, CCMP showed cryoprotective activity by increasing viability and decreasing oxidative stress in post-thaw samples. In summary, these findings suggested that CCMP supplementation acts as a cryoprotectant to modulate ROS and NO levels in thawed sperm. CCMP could be used to enhance sperm quality and reproductive success.


Caffeine; Catechin; Resveratrol; Sperm cryoprotection; Theobromine

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