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Volume 21, Issue 4 (July 2019) 21, 400–407; 10.4103/aja.aja_105_18

The effect of vitamin D on sperm motility and the underlying mechanism

Kadiliya Jueraitetibaike1, Zheng Ding2, Dan-Dan Wang1, Long-Ping Peng3, Jun Jing1, Li Chen1, Xie Ge1, Xu-Hua Qiu1, Bing Yao1

1 Center of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Jinling Hospital, Clinical School of Medical College, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, China
2 The Affiliated Jiangning Hospital of Nanjing Medical School, Nanjing 210000, China
3 Urology Department, Shunde Hospital of Southern Medical University, Foshan 528300, China

Correspondence: Dr. B Yao (yaobing@nju.edu.cn)



Vitamin D deficiency is a common health issue around the world. We therefore evaluated the associations of semen quality with both serum and seminal plasma vitamin D levels and studied the mechanisms underlying these by incubating spermatozoa with 1,25(OH)2D In vitro. Two hundred and twenty-two men were included in our study. Vitamin D was detected using an electrochemiluminescence method. Spermatozoa used for In vitro experiments were isolated by density gradient centrifugation. Positive relationships of serum 25(OH)D with semen volume and seminal plasma fructose were identified. Seminal plasma 25(OH)D level showed no relationship with serum 25(OH)D level, while it was inversely associated with sperm concentration and positively correlated with semen volume and sperm kinetic values. In vitro, sperm kinetic parameters increased after incubation with 1,25(OH)2D, especially upon incubation for 30 min with it at a concentration of 0.1 nmol l−1. Under these incubation conditions, the upward migration of spermatozoa increased remarkably with increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration. The concentration of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the activity of protein kinase A (PKA) were both elevated, and the PKA inhibitor, N-[2-(p-Bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide dihydrochloride (H89) reversed the increase of ATP production. The concentrations of cytoplasmic calcium ions and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) were both enhanced, while mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) inhibitor, Ruthenium 360 (Ru360) did not reverse the increase of ATP production. Therefore, seminal plasma vitamin D may be involved in regulating sperm motility, and 1,25(OH)2D may enhance sperm motility by promoting the synthesis of ATP both through the cAMP/PKA pathway and the increase in intracellular calcium ions.

Keywords: adenosine triphosphate; seminal plasma; sperm motility; vitamin D

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Asian Journal of Andrology CN 31-1795/R ISSN 1008-682X  Copyright © 2023  Shanghai Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences.  All rights reserved.