Synaptonemal complex analysis in human male infertility

Eur J Histochem. 1999;43(4):265-76.


The fine structural features of human spermatocytes from carriers of some of the most frequent chromosomal abnormalities are reviewed on the basis of original data and previous reports from the literature. Special emphasis is given to the Robert-sonian translocations t (13; 14), to one specific reciprocal translocation involving chromosome 21, and to Y disomy in spermatocytes from XYY men. Synaptonemal complex analysis shows that in many carriers of chromosomal aberrations that lead to pachytene configurations having terminal asynaptic segments in autosomes, there is a gradual association of these asynaptic segments with the XY body. This associations with the XY pair is assumed to trigger a process of germ cell deterioration, presumably through the spreading of the X-chromosome inactivation towards autosomal segments. Another different process of germ cell deterioration occurs when the X chromosome becomes an univalent, as in XYY men with persistence of two Y chromosomes in the germ line. The renewed interest in the examination of spermatocytes from human testicular biopsies is commented upon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / genetics*
  • Male
  • Spermatocytes / ultrastructure
  • Synaptonemal Complex / genetics*
  • X Chromosome / genetics
  • Y Chromosome / genetics