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Hum Reprod. 2007 Apr;22(4):1052-9. Epub 2007 Jan 5.

Ultrastructural nuclear defects and increased chromosome aneuploidies in spermatozoa with elongated heads.

Author information

1
Department of Genetic and Reproduction, APHP, INSERM U782, Paris 11 University, Antoine Béclère Hospital, Clamart, France. nprisant@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to elongated sperm heads are not known. We have analysed the nuclear status of spermatozoa with elongated heads.

METHODS:

Fourteen men with at least 30% of spermatozoa with an elongated nucleus were studied and compared with five fertile men as controls. Sperm morphology was analysed by a quantitative ultrastructural analysis. Sperm chromosomal content was assessed by three-colour fluorescence in-situ hybridization (chromosomes X, Y, 18). Y chromosome microdeletion and karyotype were analysed.

RESULTS:

Elongated sperm head rates of the patients were 46.9% (30-75 versus 0-2% in the control group) by light microscopy and 34.4% by electron microscopy. In all patients, the chromatin was poorly condensed in elongated sperm heads (50% of elongated nuclei). No anomalies of sperm biochemical markers were found. All the men showed normal karyotype (46,XY) and absence of Y chromosome microdeletion. Aneuploidy rates of gonosomes and chromosome 18 were significantly increased in patients (1.64- and 3.6-fold, P = 0.006 and 0.026, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates that impaired chromatin compaction and slightly increased chromosome aneuploidies are found in spermatozoa with an elongated head, suggesting possible mechanisms such as meiotic non-disjunctions or spermiogenesis anomalies.

PMID:
17208942
DOI:
10.1093/humrep/del481
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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