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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Sep 10;322(1):333-9.

Male infertility and mitochondrial DNA.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo A. Monroy Universit√† di Palermo Viale delle Scienze, Palermo, Italy.


The mitochondrial machinery plays a key role in the energy production and maintenance of spermatozoa motility. In this paper 200 idiopathic oligo-asthenozoospermic patients were classified on the basis of rapid progressive motility ("a") and sperm concentration. Mitochondrial enzymatic activity was studied and correlated to the viability of sperm cells. Mitochondrial DNA purified from both motile and non-motile sperm of the same individuals was amplificated using PCR. Results suggested that only motile sperm have organelles functional in oxygen consumption, unequivocally demonstrating that motility depends on the mitochondrial activity. Mitochondrial DNA of oligo-asthenozoospermic patients seemed to present some defects that made DNA unavailable for amplification.

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