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Cattolica Eraclea, Italy

Bulletti C.,Physiopathology of Reproduction Unit | Palagiano A.,University of Naples | Pace C.,University of Naples | Cerni A.,University of Bologna | And 2 more authors.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2011

The availability of computer-controlled artificial hearts, kidneys, and lungs, as well as the possibility of implanting human embryos in ex vivo uterus models or an artificial endometrium, presents new perspectives for creating an artificial uterus. Survival rates have also improved, with fetuses surviving from as early as 24 weeks of gestation. These advances bring new opportunities for complete or partial ectogenesis through the creation of an artificial womb, one that could sustain the growth and development of fetuses outside of the human body. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.


Benedetti S.,Urbino University | Tagliamonte M.C.,Urbino University | Catalani S.,Urbino University | Primiterra M.,Urbino University | And 5 more authors.
Reproductive BioMedicine Online | Year: 2012

Oxidative stress plays a fundamental role in the aetiology of male infertility by negatively affecting sperm quality and function. Assessment of blood and seminal plasma oxidative profiles might be a valuable tool to improve evaluation of sperm reproductive capacity and functional competence. This study examined the lipid-soluble antioxidant profile and levels of lipid peroxidation both in blood and seminal plasma samples of infertile and fertile males, in relation to semen parameters. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and vitamin E concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in seminal plasma of infertile men compared with fertile subjects; concurrently, a significant accumulation of malondialdehyde was found in infertile patients (P = 0.032 compared with controls), which was negatively correlated with sperm motility and morphology. In blood samples, infertile men presented lower concentrations of TAC, carotenoids and vitamin E than fertile subjects; TAC and carotenoids were positively correlated with sperm motility, morphology and concentration. Finally, blood TAC and vitamin E concentrations were positively correlated with the corresponding seminal values, confirming the close relationship between blood and semen antioxidants. All these results indicated the possibility of using not only seminal antioxidants but also blood antioxidants as biochemical markers to support sperm quality evaluation. Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been widely recognized as one of the major causes of male infertility; indeed, excessive ROS production can negatively impact sperm quality and function. The assessment of blood and seminal plasma oxidative profiles has been suggested as a valuable tool to improve the evaluation of sperm reproductive capacity and functional competence in infertile men. With this in mind, in the present study we examined the lipid soluble antioxidant profile (carotenoids and vitamins A and E) and the levels of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde; MDA) both in blood and seminal plasma samples of infertile and fertile males, in correlation with semen parameters namely motility, morphology and concentration. As a result, we obtained evidence that the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and the concentrations of vitamin E of seminal plasma samples were significantly lower in infertile men than in fertile subjects; at the same time, a significant accumulation of MDA was found in infertile patients. MDA, in turn, negatively correlated with sperm motility and morphology, thus confirming that oxidative damage to lipids impairs sperm quality. In blood samples, infertile men presented lower TAC and lower concentrations of carotenoids and vitamin E than fertile subjects; interestingly, TAC and carotenoid concentrations were positively correlated with sperm motility, morphology, and concentration, confirming the close relationship between blood antioxidants and sperm quality. In conclusion, all these results suggested that the examination of blood and semen oxidative profiles might furnish useful information on sperm quality and function in infertile men. © 2012, Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Palini S.,Physiopathology of Reproduction Unit | Benedetti S.,Urbino University | Tagliamonte M.C.,Urbino University | De Stefani S.,Physiopathology of Reproduction Unit | And 7 more authors.
Reproductive BioMedicine Online | Year: 2014

Ovarian stimulation is used with IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles to obtain multiple oocytes and improve pregnancy rates; however, it also induces perturbation in the oxidant-antioxidant balance leading to oxidation stress. The present study monitored the plasma antioxidant status in women undergoing a long agonist protocol of ovarian stimulation at three different time points: at baseline (T0), after pituitary suppression (T1) and on the day of oocyte retrieval (T2). The antioxidant composition of follicular fluid samples collected on T2 was also evaluated. Significant decreases (P < 0.05) of plasma vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids were found between T1 and T2 but not between T0 and T1. At T2, high plasma vitamin E was associated with high numbers of total and mature oocytes retrieved per patient, which, in turn, were favourable for achieving pregnancy. Accordingly, women who became pregnant presented higher vitamin E concentrations both in plasma and FF than those who did not. In conclusion, this study confirmed the occurrence of significant modifications of the plasma antioxidant profile during ovarian stimulation with gonadotrophins; at the same time, it was found that both systemic and follicular antioxidant status may be related to IVF/ICSI outcome. © 2014, Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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