Purpose: Investigate in what extent sperm transcriptome of infertile men is different from that of fertile individuals.
Methods: Semen samples were collected for determination of sperm parameters as well as for RNA isolation. Gene expression profile was investigated in spermatozoa of 8 infertile and 3 fertile men by microarray analysis using the Affymetrix Chip HG-U133 Plus 2.0.
Result(s): We observed up to 33-fold reduction expression of genes involved in spermatogenesis and sperm motility. Furthermore, there is an important decrease in expression of genes involved in DNA repair as well as oxidative stress regulation. In this study, we also show a striking drop in expression of histone modification genes.
Conclusion(s): We found that transcription profile in germ cells of men with idiopathic infertility is different from that of fertile individuals. Interestingly, about 15% of the regulated genes (Eddy Rev Reprod 4:23-30, 1999) play a role in spermatogenesis.