SIRT1 and antioxidants in infertile females: Exploration of the role of vitamin D

Faiza Alam, Maheen Shahid, Sumaira Riffat, Ihsan Nazurah Zulkipli, Fatima Syed, Mussarat Ashraf, Rehana Rehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deficiency of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) can trigger inflammation, mitochondrial malfunctioning, and apoptosis through the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, producing poor quality oocytes, leading to infertility. Normal vitamin D (VD) levels promote SIRT1 activity required for optimal fertility, and low levels of either may result in fertility problems owing to cell-membrane de-stabilization, increased autophagy, DNA damage leading to increased reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dysfunction. Therefore, in this study, we want to estimate the levels of VD, SIRT1 and antioxidants (MnSOD; manganese superoxide dismutase, GR; glutathione reductase, visfatin) and oxidants (adrenaline & cortisol) in individuals living with infertility and explore the association of VD with SIRT1 expression (levels), antioxidants, and oxidants contributing to infertility in women. The significance of this study is that it highlights the importance of maintaining optimal levels of VD for reproductive health in females. Methods This cross-sectional study included 342 (135 infertile and 207 fertile) female subjects. Serum levels of MnSOD, SIRT1, visfatin, GR, VD, adrenaline, and cortisol were analyzed by ELISA and were compared in fertile and infertile samples using the Mann Whitney U test. Results There were significantly high levels of VD, SIRT1, GR, MnSOD and visfatin in fertile female participants. However, mean adrenaline and cortisol levels were higher in infertile samples with a significant negative correlation with VD. A significant negative correlation of VD with MnSOD, SIRT1, visfatin and GR was observed (p <0.01). In VD subset groups, MnSOD levels were significantly high in VD sufficient groups however, adrenaline and cortisol levels were significantly high in groups suffering from VD deficiency. Conclusions Deficiency of VD is associated with a decrease in SIRT1 and other antioxidants, which may deter natural reproductive functions leading to infertility. Further studies are required to determine the cause-effect relationship of VD deficiency on conception and interpretation of the involved mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0287727
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7 July
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


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