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Photobiomodulation therapy for male infertility

Abstract

Male infertility is a worldwide critical condition that affects about the 7.5% of males in Europe leading to an increment of the couples referring to reproductive medicine units to achieve pregnancy. Moreover, in the recent years, an increased number of patients have required to freeze their gametes in order to preserve their fertility. Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy is a potential treatment that has been used for different clinical application basically aimed at biostimulating cells and tissues. Here, we report a deep overview of the published studies, focusing on PBM mechanism of action, with the aim of expanding the knowledge in the field of laser light for a rational utilization of irradiation in the clinical practice. In the field of reproductive science, PBM was employed to increment spermatozoa’s metabolism, motility, and viability, due to its beneficial action on mitochondria, leading to an activation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and to the ATP production. This treatment can be particularly useful to avoid the use of chemicals in the spermatozoa culture medium as well as to promote the spermatozoa survival and movement especially after thawing or in largely immotile sperm samples.

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Funding

This research was funded by Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, grant number 5mille15D1 and RC15/17.

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Correspondence to Luisa Zupin.

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Zupin, L., Pascolo, L., Luppi, S. et al. Photobiomodulation therapy for male infertility. Lasers Med Sci 35, 1671–1680 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-020-03042-x

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Keywords

  • Photobiomodulation therapy
  • Male infertility
  • Spermatozoa