Reactive oxygen species (ROS) not only play a key role in mediating the pathological consequences of oxidative stress but also drive the biochemical pathways that are central to the regulation of normal cell function. Thus, ROS are a two-edged sword: a friend when produced in the small quantities needed to promote cellular processes such as apoptosis and signal transduction and, because of their promiscuous reactivity, a foe when generated in excess. In this review we shall examine both sides of these biologically important molecules in the context of sperm cell biology. However, in order to set the scene, we shall first overview the fundamental chemistry of ROS and consider the difficulties encountered in detecting these short-lived but highly reactive molecules.
The Sperm Cell: Production, Maturation, Fertilization, Regeneration p. 170-193