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Fertil Steril. 2015 Sep;104(3):591-601. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.06.015. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Spermatozoa from patients with seminal alterations exhibit a differential micro-ribonucleic acid profile.

Author information

1
Genetics of Male Fertility Group, Unitat de Biologia Cel·lular, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
2
Unidad de Reproducción Asistida, Centro Médico Teknon, Barcelona, Spain.
3
Institut Marquès, Barcelona, Spain.
4
Laboratorio de Andrología y Banco de Semen, Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad, Valencia, Spain.
5
Genetics of Male Fertility Group, Unitat de Biologia Cel·lular, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. Electronic address: ester.anton@uab.cat.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the microRNA (miRNA) expression profile in spermatozoa from three infertile populations vs. a group of fertile men.

DESIGN:

Evaluation of the expression level of 736 miRNAs in human spermatozoa using TaqMan quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

SETTING:

University research facility.

PATIENT(S):

Semen samples with a single seminal alteration were collected from infertile individuals: asthenozoospermic (n = 10), teratozoospermic (n = 10), and oligozoospermic (n = 10).

INTERVENTION(S):

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Correlation of the expression level of each miRNA with seminal parameters, age, and chromosome instability; clustering of the individuals according to their miRNA expression profiles and influence of the seminogram, age, chromosome instability, and assisted reproductive technology outcome in the clustering; analysis of the differentially expressed miRNAs (DE-miRNAs) in each infertile population; genome annotation of these DE-miRNAs; and ontological analysis of their predicted targets.

RESULT(S):

The hsa-miR-34b-3p correlated with age, the hsa-miR-629-3p with sperm motility, and the hsa-miR-335-5p, hsa-miR-885-5p, and hsa-miR-152-3p with sperm concentration. The individuals clustered into two groups, and only the seminogram was differentially distributed. We identified 32 DE-miRNAs in the asthenozoospermic group, 19 in the teratozoospermic group, and 18 in the oligozoospermic group. The up-regulated miRNAs presented an enriched localization in introns, affecting relevant genes for spermatogenesis. The predicted targets of the DE-miRNAs contained critical genes associated to infertility, and their ontological analysis revealed significantly associated functions related to the seminal alterations of each group.

CONCLUSION(S):

Spermatozoa from patients with seminal alterations exhibit a differential miRNA profile. This provides new evidence that miRNAs have an essential role in spermatogenesis, contributing to the mechanisms involved in human fertility.

KEYWORDS:

Infertility; microRNA; seminal alterations; sperm biomarkers; spermatozoa

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