AZF deletions in infertile men from the Republic of Macedonia

Prilozi. 2006 Jul;27(1):5-16.


Y chromosome deletions in the three azoospermia factor (AZF) regions constitute the most common genetic cause of spermatogenic failure. The aim of this study was to estimate the length and boundaries of the AZF deletions and to correlate the AZF deletions with the sperm concentrations, testicular histology, Y haplogroups and the ethnic origin of the men with deletions. PCR analysis of STS loci in the three AZF regions was used to characterize the deletions. Y haplogroup was predicted from a set of 17 Y short tandem repeats (STR) marker values. A total of nine men out of 218 infertile/subfertile men showed the presence of Y microdeletions. In eight patients the results were consistent with the presence of AZFc deletions, while in one patient a larger deletion involving both AZFb and AZFc regions was detected. In two patients, the deletion, initially diagnosed as AZFc, involved part of the distal part of the AZFb region and in one of them the deletion also extended into the region distal to the AZFc. The 3.5 Mb AZFc deletion, due to homologous recombination between b2 and b4 amplicons, was detected in six men (66.7% of all Y deletions), thus being the most common type of AZF deletion among infertile men from the Republic of Macedonia. Patients with the 3.5 Mb AZFc deletion had azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia and variable histological results [Sertoly cell only syndrome (SCOS), maturity arrest (MA) and hypospermatogenesis (HSG)]. They were of different ethnic origin (Macedonian, Albanian and Romany) and belonged to different Y haplogroups (I1b, J2, E3b and G).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Azoospermia / ethnology
  • Azoospermia / genetics*
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y*
  • Genetic Loci
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Oligospermia / ethnology
  • Oligospermia / genetics*
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / genetics*


  • Seminal Plasma Proteins