Globozoospermia is characterized by the presence of 100% acrosomeless round-headed spermatozoa in an ejaculate. Failed fertilization after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is commonly reported for globozoospermic couples and can be overcome by artificial oocyte activation (AOA). Phospholipase C zeta (PLCζ) is one of the main sperm factors involved in oocyte activation and its low expression levels mainly account for fertilization failure. Deletion of the DPY19L2 gene is reported as a main genetic cause in over 70% of infertile men with globozoospermia. The current study assesses the expression profile of sperm PLCζ at RNA and protein levels in 32 DPY19L2 deletion-mediated globozoospermic men and reports corresponding clinical outcomes following ICSI with AOA. The expression of PLCζ relative to GAPDH at RNA (0.78 ± 0.16 versus 1.65 ± 0.24; P = 0.02) and protein (0.39 ± 0.12 versus 0.83 ± 0.13; P = 0.01) levels in globozoospermic men with DPY19L2 deletion was significantly lower compared with fertile men (n = 32). Fertilization rate in globozoospermic couples following ICSI-AOA was significantly lower compared with fertile men (53.14 ± 5.13% versus 87.64 ± 2.38%, P < 0.001). However, implantation (26.2%) and pregnancy (53.8%) rates were not jeopardized by DPY19L2 deletion in these couples.
Keywords: DPY19L2 deletion; Fertilization; Globozoospermia; ICSI-AOA; PLCζ; Pregnancy.
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