Ethanol Inhibition of Vitamin A Metabolism in the Testes: Possible Mechanism for Sterility in Alcoholics

Science  06 Dec 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4167, pp. 941-942
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4167.941


Vitanin A (retinol) is essential for spermatogenesis. Alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme responsible for ethanol metabolism, is also required for the conversion of retinol to bioactive retinal at the end organ site. Ethanol inhibits the oxidation of retinol by testicular homogenates containing alcohol dehydrogenase. Thus, a possible biochemnical mechanism for the sterility of chronic alcoholics is identified.