News of the WeekDevelopmental Biology

Selenium's Role in Infertility Explained

Science  27 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5432, pp. 1339
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5432.1339a

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


New results may help explain the long-standing mystery of why selenium deficiency in lab and domestic animals makes their sperm fragile, leading to male sterility. On page 1393, biochemists report that a previously identified selenium-containing enzyme which helps rid developing sperm of dangerous reactive oxygen molecules, moonlights as part of the glue that holds mature sperm together. The result opens the door to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying normal sperm development, presumably in humans as well as in animals, say experts.