Interactions between visible light and sperm cells

Rachel Lubart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The influence of X-ray and UV radiation on sperm cells has been extensively studied. However, little is known regarding the influence of visible-light irradiation on sperm, with few publications in the literature. In the present chapter, we summarize evidence demonstrating that lasers or broadband light devices in the visible range can improve sperm motility and stimulate their fertilizing ability. The cellular mechanisms underlying the interactions of visible light with sperm are also discussed. Most researchers agree that the first step following visible light-cell interaction is the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by endogenous cellular photosensitizers. Although in male reproduction, ROS are known mostly for their detrimental effect on sperm function, there is now increasing evidence to suggest that very low and controlled concentrations of ROS participate in signal transduction pathways, leading to sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction, which are essential for successful fertilization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Spermatozoa
Subtitle of host publicationMaturation, Capacitation and Abnormalities
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781608764013
StatePublished - 2012


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