Aim: To evaluate for the first time the frequency of Y chromosome microdeletions and the occurrence of the partial deletions of AZFc region in Moroccan men, and to discuss the clinical significance of AZF deletions.
Methods: We screened Y chromosome microdeletions and partial deletions of the AZFc region of a consecutive group of infertile men (n = 149) and controls (100 fertile men, 76 normospermic men). AZFa, AZFb, AZFc and partial deletions of the AZFc region were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) according to established protocols.
Results: Among the 127 infertile men screened for microdeletion, four subjects were found to have microdeletions: two AZFc deletions and two AZFb+AZFc deletions. All the deletions were found only in azoospermic subjects (4/48, 8.33%). The overall AZFc deletion frequency was low (4/127, 3.15%). AZF microdeletions were not observed in either oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OATS) or the control. Partial deletions of AZFc (gr/gr) were observed in a total of 7 of the 149 infertile men (4.70%) and 7 partial AZFc deletions (gr/gr) were found in the control group (7/176, 3.98%). In addition, two b2/b3 deletions were identified in two azoospermic subjects (2/149, 1.34%) but not in the control group.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that the frequency of Y chromosome AZF microdeletions is elevated in individuals with severe spermatogenic failure and that gr/gr deletions are not associated with spermatogenic failure.