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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2014 Sep;31(9):1195-204. doi: 10.1007/s10815-014-0282-4. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Identification of biochemical differences between different forms of male infertility by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

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Division of Reproductive Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, 576 104, India,



The aim of this study was to analyze the seminal plasma of patients with idiopathic/male factor infertility and healthy controls with proven fertility by NMR spectroscopy, with a hope of establishing difference in biomarker profiles, if any, between the groups.


A total of 103 subjects visiting the infertility clinic of Manipal University with normozoospermic parameters, oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, azoospermia and teratozoospermia were included. Semen characteristics were analysed by standard criteria. Seminal plasma was subjected to NMR spectroscopy at a 700 MHz (1)H frequency. The resultant data was analyzed by appropriate software.


The analysis revealed significant differences between the fertile control group and other forms of male infertility. Interestingly, seminal plasma profile of the idiopathic infertility group showed distinct segregation from the control population as well as other infertile groups. The difference in biomarker profiles between the idiopathic infertility and the rest of the groups combined could originate from either the up-regulation or down regulation of a several compounds, including lysine, arginine, tyrosine, citrate, proline and fructose.


Our data suggests the presence of a metabolic reason behind the origin of idiopathic infertility. (1)H NMR based metabonomic profiling based on concentration of biomarker lysine has the potential to aid in the detection and diagnosis of idiopathic infertility in an efficient manner.

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