Fertility in a i(Xq) Klinefelter patient: importance of XIST expression level determined by qRT-PCR in ruling out Klinefelter cryptic mosaicism as cause of oligozoospermia

Mol Hum Reprod. 2008 Nov;14(11):635-40. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gan057. Epub 2008 Oct 14.


The presence of an isochromosome Xq in Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is an apparently rare condition. In all cases reported so far, patients showed the classic phenotype. We here describe a case of isochromosome Xq [47,X,i(Xq),Y] in a non-mosaic KS patient. The patient exhibited a normal androgenized phenotype, normal testes and normal cognitive abilities. Semen analysis revealed a medium oligozoospermia (5 x 10(6) spermatozoa/ml). After the patient underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection, he generated two cytogenetically healthy normal females. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed the presence of a dicentric Xq chromosome that did not show the presence of residual Xp arm up to the 57,820,478 bp position (Xp 1.1) of X chromosome sequence. Preferential inactivation of Xq isochromosome was demonstrated by bromodeoxyuridine replication analysis and transcriptional silencing by DNA methylation at the HUMARA locus. Furthermore, we demonstrated by quantitative RT-PCR an active XIST RNA expression in blood lymphocytes from Klinefelter patients, comparable to that observed in control females and over 30,000-fold greater than in control males. In conclusion, this qRT-PCR approach could be useful for screening of prepuberty males and for diagnosis or exclusion of cryptic Klinefelter mosaics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromosomes, Human, X / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fertility / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / blood
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / complications
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / genetics*
  • Male
  • Oligospermia / blood
  • Oligospermia / etiology
  • Oligospermia / genetics*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Untranslated / blood
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • XIST non-coding RNA