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Mol Reprod Dev. 2003 Dec;66(4):403-21.

Feasibility of global gene expression analysis in testicular biopsies from infertile men.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0546, USA.


Numerous studies have documented the use of microarray analysis to identify patterns of global gene expression that distinguish normal development from that of the diseased state. Yet, there are no reports that compare global gene expression in the fertile and infertile human testis. Here, we report an initial study of global gene expression in testicular biopsies from several men with different infertility phenotypes. We found that microarray analysis of small biopsy samples was suitable for profiling expression of genes known to function in germ cell development and also identified expression of novel genes. Since it is now common for infertile men with spermatogenic failure to use intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to achieve biological paternity, we hypothesize that molecular screening of testicular biopsies with microarrays may be suitable: (1) to categorize the molecular phenoytpes of infertile testes in a manner similar to standard morphologic analysis and (2) to initiate larger studies of gene expression in the infertile testes that may identify genetic signatures from biopsies that allow prediction of outcomes.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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