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Reproductive tract infection is one of the factors of male infertility, but the mechanisms responsible are hitherto poorly defined. Recent studies show that one of the microbial pattern-recognition receptors, Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway, plays a critical role in inflammation-induced male infertility. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major component in the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, could induce inflammatory response through TLRs. A large number of researches suggest that TLRs express widely in the male reproductive tract and LPS-induced inflammatory reaction through TLRs may affect male fertility. This article presents an overview on how LPS-induced inflammation through TLRs affects male fertility in terms of its influence on the testis, epididymis and sperm quality.


Xu-Xin Zhan, Xing-Rong Qing, Xue-Jun Shang, Yu-Feng Huang. Lipopolysaccharide affects male reproductive function through Toll-like receptors]. Zhonghua nan ke xue = National journal of andrology. 2013 Feb;19(2):163-8

PMID: 23441460

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