Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been widely recognized as one of the major causes of male infertility. Low physiological concentrations of ROS plays an essential role for sperm capacitation, hyperactivation, and spermatozoon-oocyte fusion. GSTs, a major group of detoxification and antioxidant enzymes, are considered to play protective roles against toxic xenobiotic and ROS in tissue. Polymorphisms in the GST gene may impact the ability of protection against oxidative stress and lead to the development of male infertility. In the present study, we examined the association between the polymorphisms of GSTM1/GSTT1 and the male infertility risk, the overall results showed that the GSTM1/GSTT1 null genotype might contribute to individual susceptibility to male infertility in Chinese populations. To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis to investigate the association between these polymorphisms and the development of male infertility in Chinese population.
When interpreting the results of the current study, some limitations should be taken with cause. First, the number of included studies was relatively small; therefore, limited data were available. Second, we were unable to analyze gene–gene and gene–environment interactions, due to the lack of information available in the original studies. Third, other factors such as the age, obesity, life-style that may affect the interaction of GSTM1/GSTT1 gene polymorphism with male infertility could not be analyzed due to the lack of original data.
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