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Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2001;39(1):35-41.

Idiopathic infertility in married couples in the light of cytogenetic analysis and sperm penetration assay.

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Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań.


We have selected 47 couples with unexplained infertility in order to analyse a possible link between sperm dysfunction studied in males in in vitro conditions and karyotype analysis of somatic cells. In order to identify so called "idiopathically infertile" couples we had to exclude any change in reproductive organs in both partners or in spermiogram which would qualify any of spouses into known category of infertility. We have revealed chromosome aberrations (translocations and marker chromosomes) in 19% of infertile males and in 6% of infertile females. Idiopathically infertile males had an overall decreased ability of sperm function (measured by proportion of penetrated hamster oocytes by human sperm) in comparison to fertile controls, however, still well placed within physiological range of values. Only sperm from a patient with identified translocation was clearly below the normal level of penetration (20% of penetrated oocytes), however, also the patients with revealed chromosome variant polymorphisms presented statistically lower values of penetration in comparison to fertile controls (39% vs 57%, p<0.05). On the contrary, patients with marker chromosomes did not exhibit affected sperm function. It can be speculated that only particular chromosome aberration in group of idiopathically infertile males may affect sperm functional capability (measured in vitro), however, the intragonadal genetic analysis has to be recommended in order to confirm such a causative link.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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