Male Infertility is an increasing global health issue, and one of the main findings in the semen of infertile men is spermatogenesis and sperm motility deficiencies. Despite the advances in male fertility, sperm abnormalities are complex and caused by multiple endogenous and exogenous factors. The Na, K ATPase α4 isoform is testis-specific, and its catalytic function is essential to maintain sperm quality, motility, and capacity. Exogenous ouabain is known for its inhibitory actions on the Na, K-ATPase, and α4 has a high affinity for ouabain. This heightened sensitivity is the basis for numerous experiments showing that Inhibition of the α4 by ouabain leads to sperm deterioration. It is interesting to note that endogenous ouabain is a cardiotonic steroid hormone found in animals and humans during normal conditions and increases in response to high salt intake. Also, infertile men with deficient sperm motility had increased levels of endogenous ouabain in the semen. Therefore, this article emphasizes the intersectionality between the following factors: 1) high salt intake and decreased sperm motility, 2) high salt intake and increased EO levels, 3) sperm Na, K-ATPase α4 isoform high affinity for ouabain, 4) effects of high ouabain on reduced sperm quality and motility, and 5) increased EO levels in infertile men with decreased sperm motility. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that endogenous ouabain is a possible link between high salt intake and male infertility.
Published Date: 2021-04-05; Received Date: 2021-03-05