• DNA damage;
  • comet assay;
  • reactive oxygen species;
  • spermatozoa motility


The sperm of sterlet (Acispenser ruthenus) was used to investigate the effect of the xenobiotic tetrabrombisphenol A (TBBPA) on sperm quality variables (ATP content, spermatozoa motility, and velocity), DNA integrity, and oxidative stress indices. Sperm was diluted to obtain a spermatozoa density of 5 × 108 cells/mL and exposed for 2 h to final concentrations of TBBPA (0.5, 1.75, 2.5, 5, and 10 μg/L). The oxidative stress indices, including lipid peroxidation, carbonyl derivatives of proteins, and antioxidant activity were significantly higher with increased concentrations of TBBPA. There was significantly less intracellular ATP in sperm samples at TBBPA concentrations of 2.5 μg/L and above. Spermatozoa velocity and percent motile sperm were significantly lower at each sampling time post-activation compared to controls. DNA damage expressed as percent DNA in Tail and Olive Tail moment was significantly higher with exposures ≥2.5 μg/L TBBPA. The results demonstrated that TBBPA and other xenobiotics can induce reactive oxygen species stress in fish spermatozoa, which could impair the sperm quality, DNA integrity, ATP content, and the antioxidant defense system. This study confirmed that fish spermatozoa can be used in in vitro assays for monitoring residual pollution in aquatic environments. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 30: 735–745, 2015.