Differential transcriptomic profile in spermatozoa achieving pregnancy or not via ICSI

Reprod Biomed Online. 2011 Jan;22(1):25-36. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.09.013. Epub 2010 Nov 30.


Basic sperm analysis is limited as a method of estimating pregnancy. This study’s objective was use of microarray technology to differentiate the gene expressions of spermatozoa that achieved pregnancy in an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)cycle in an oocyte donation programme with those that did not achieve pregnancy. A study of nested cases and controls was designed to evaluate fresh and frozen spermatozoa from infertile males undergoing ICSI with donor oocytes. The global genome expression of pooled samples from each group (achieving pregnancy versus those that didn’t, from fresh or frozen spermatozoa)was compared using microarray analysis. The level of expression of some of the transcripts from fresh spermatozoa was shown to differ for those that achieved pregnancy versus those that didn’t. Additionally, exclusively expressed transcripts were identified for both outcome groups. Analysis of frozen spermatozoa didn’t reveal differential expression, but exclusively expressed transcripts were detected. Lists of the transcripts were systematically analysed using different databases in order to provide information about them and their relationship with male fertility. The results revealed profound differences between the expression profiles of spermatozoa that resulted in pregnancy versus those that didn’t. These differences may explain ICSI failure associated with male factor infertility.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cryopreservation
  • Donor Selection / methods
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Infertility, Male / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oocyte Donation
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Semen Analysis / methods*
  • Semen Preservation / adverse effects
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • RNA, Messenger