Experts can not answer the question, what causes cause a decrease in the activity of the XRCC1 gene. “Even minor DNA damage in sperm can reduce fertility and increase the risk of disease in offspring,” said researcher Aihua Gu. “Now that we know that the XRCC1 gene plays a crucial role in maintaining normal spermatogenesis in mice, further research should find potential treatments that could reverse male infertility caused by a deficiency of the XRCC1 gene.”
Concerns about male infertility hit the headlines around the world in 2017, when scientists from Israel and the United States published shocking data that the number of sperm among men living in Western countries has decreased by 59.3% in the last 40 years. Analyzing the previous data, the researchers found that since 1973, the concentration of sperm in Western men has decreased by an average of 1.4% per year. At the same time, the total number of sperm cells decreases by 1.6% every year, which ultimately led to a cumulative decrease in the number of sperm in men by almost 60% over the past 40 years.