Objective: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as the superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide are highly toxic to cells. Cellular antioxidant enzymes and free radical scavengers normally protect a cell from toxic effects of ROS. However when generation of ROS overtakes the antioxidant defense then tissue damage is caused. The present study aims to find the ascorbic acid levels in sperm cells of different parts of the epididymis and the relation of level of ascorbic acid with motility status of cauda sperm cells considering goat sperm as a model system. The antioxidant potential of motile cauda sperm cells was also revealed.
Methods: Ascorbic acid assay and antioxidant potential assay was done to measure the levels of ascorbic acid and the levels of scavenging of free radicals. Sperm motility was determined by microscopic and spectrophotometric methods.
Results: From the results of the present study it was revealed that the level of ascorbic acid is significantly less in the sperm cells of the cauda epididymis. The level of total antioxidant potential of the sperm cells of the cauda epididymis was tested. The sperms were found to be having significant amount of antioxidants. No significant relation could be concluded regarding the levels of ascorbic acid in the sperms of the cauda epididymis and their motility status.
Conclusions: Since the sperms of the cauda epididymis are mostly motile, so, less ascorbic acid in cauda sperm may be due to the consumption of the antioxidant (ascorbic acid) by the sperm cells to scavenge the free radicals produced during motility. Reduction of ROS or free radicals seems to be necessary for sperm motility.
Ascorbic acid; Free radicals; Goat; Reactive oxygen species; Sperm motility