Origin of reactive oxygen species in human semen: spermatozoa or leucocytes?

E. Kessopoulou, M. J. Tomlinson, C. L. R. Barratt, A. E. Bolton, I. D. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


Peroxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been proposed as one of the major causes of defective sperm function. In previous studies of the production of ROS in semen, the contribution of contaminating leucocytes was not assessed. We determined the levels of ROS in 60 semen samples from men attending our infertility clinic and demonstrated by performing extraction experiments with antibody-coated magnetic beads that, within this unselected population of patients, leucocytes were the major source of ROS in the low-density Percoll fraction. Of the sperm motion parameters examined using computerized semen analysis, beat-cross frequency was the only one significantly affected by the ROS in semen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-470
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1992


  • Cell Separation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male/metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes/metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen/metabolism
  • Semen/cytology
  • Spermatozoa/metabolism


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