About this Research Topic
Nowadays, fertility performance across production animals is increasingly strengthened due to large improvements in management and growing knowledge of approaches to fertility analysis. Apart from motility and kinetic parameter analysis, a number of studies on radical oxidative stress (ROS), Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC), DNA fragmentation, membrane status (acrosome damage, lipid peroxidation, cholesterol influx, apoptosis-like changes), capacitation-like status, mainly through CatSper channels, have been carried out and correlated to pregnancy success ratios. Recently, spermatozoa components Izumo (interacting with Juno in the oocyte) and TMEM95, have been described as key molecules in the sperm-egg interaction. It is also important to increase the number of studies on non-coding RNAs, and also proteins, not only inside the sperm but also in exosomes and free in seminal plasma.
There is still a lack of comprehensive studies focused on finding a complete definition of the components of semen, not only the spermatozoa itself but also seminal plasma components that could potentially affect the final reproductive performance. For this purpose, the development of new analytical tools for sperm quality parameters should be mandatory to highlight the relevance of the overall male part action on fertility. Our goal is to collate a complete mapping of semen components and plausible links of such analysis with reproductive success. Flow cytometry technologies, including sperm viability and membrane integrity, mitochondrial status, sorting of sperm, are welcomed, as well as protein content analyses through different techniques, and functional studies of chemokines and cytokines, involved in the male-female gamete interaction. Importantly, storage of the genetic material requires harmful processing of cooling, conventional freezing, and vitrification (among others), with a wide variety of sub-lethal damage not yet fully understood.
Overall, the main goal of this Research Topic is to fill the gap of knowledge in the spermatozoa determinants through new analytical tools to assay the sperm characteristics and, ultimately, to find suitable biomarkers in sperm for fertility performance. This brings up the question: can we develop an ultimate routine assay, sensitive and with good predictive values, which is still robust enough for daily routine lab work?
The aim of the current Research Topic is to describe novel and advanced markers in semen evaluation that could potentially mirror the fertility performance. The main areas to be included in this Research Topic, but not exclusively limited to, are:
• Development of new markers of oxidative status
• -Omics: genomics, transcriptomics and proteomic of semen
• DNA status analysis in sperm
• Epigenetics of spermatogenesis and male gametes
• New approaches in the analysis of the motility and kinetics of sperm parameters
• Sperm receptors and channel mapping
Keywords: Semen, Fertility, Sperm, Spermatozoa, Production
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