Air pollution reduces sperm count through brain inflammation: New study

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine showed that air pollution reduces sperm count in mice, by causing inflammation in the brain, ANI reported.

Scientists say that the brain has a direct connection to the reproductive organs in males and females in which the stress of a particular person affects their menstrual cycle and sperm count. Scientists have conducted a test that denotes how air pollution caused lower fertility among many.

The findings of the study were published in September in the science review Environmental Health Perspectives. The latest study tried to trace the origin of sperm count declines around the world over the past decades. 

Lead study author and Assistant Professor of Medicine at UMSOM, Zhekang Ying, said, “our findings showed that the damage due to air pollution- at least to the sperm count – could be remedied by removing a single inflammation marker in the brains of mice, suggesting that we may be able to develop therapies that could prevent or reverse the damaging effects of air pollution on fertility.”

Other scientists also figured out and said,” These findings have much greater and wider implications than just fertility, as there are many conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease that the brain to cause inflammation due to air pollution.”

When the total population is taken into account, then almost 92 % of them are facing air pollution in their respective countries. Here the level of fine air particles set by the WHO exceeds the minimum limit, the study noted. Such pollution can come from cars’ muffler pots, factory emissions, wildfires, or woodburning stoves.

The scientists conducted the test in healthy mice and mice lacking inflammatory markers in the brain. The test result came which showed that the mice lacking inflammatory markers did not decrease their sperm count when exposed to polluted air compared to healthy mice.

After going through detailed examinations, in mice, it was found that the neurons associated with sleep cycles and obesity, and air pollution causes a decrease in sperm count. The final findings showed that neurons of the hypothalamus are the main culprit of the inflammation that causes low sperm counts. 

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Scientists further explained, “The damage caused by air pollution can be cured by removing a marker of inflammation in the brains of mice. It suggests that we may be able to develop a way to prevent or reverse air pollution. Treatment for the detrimental effects of pollution on fertility.”