Establishing specific biomarkers for the assessment of human male fertility status is an important goal to ensure the fitness of the male contribution so as to support the birth of a healthy child. Spermatozoa are considered an optimal surrogate tissue for the evaluation of spermatogenic function. Unlike the cells of the testis, spermatozoa do not require invasive procedures to procure a sample. A broad range of sperm biomarkers and tests have been described as useful for the assessment of the sperm function. However, these approaches appear limited considering the current state of the art of molecular diagnostics that could be developed for this purpose. In this review, we outline the suite of sperm biomarkers that are currently in use to assess human male fertility status. Their use as indicators of genotoxic exposure will be discussed.
- Human spermatozoa