A spermatogenesis-related gene expression profile in human spermatozoa and its potential clinical applications
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Spermatogenesis is an essential stage in the human reproductive process. In a previously study aiming to determine which genes might be involved in spermatogenesis, we compared the gene expression profiles of adult and fetal testes by hybridizing cDNA probes prepared from adult and fetal testes to membranes dotted with gene clones derived from a commercial human testis library. We identified 266 differentially expressed genes that showed higher expression levels in adult testes, indicating their potential roles in spermatogenesis. In the present study, we applied the same cDNA microarray technique to the analysis of gene expression in the spermatozoa of normal fertile men and found 149 genes that were expressed at higher levels in adult testis. A further study of five sperm motility-related genes selected from this profile by real-time PCR revealed that there was significant difference in the expression levels of two genes (TPX-1, testis-specific protein 1 and LDHC, lactate dehydrogenase C, transcript variant 1) between normal (n=29) and motility impaired (n=24) semen samples, indicating that these genes are involved in sperm function. Our results demonstrated that spermatogenesis-related gene profiling could help to assess sperm quality in humans, and further study of these genes will help us to elucidate the mechanisms involved in spermatogenesis and diseases relating to human infertility.
KeywordscDNA microarray Gene expression mRNA Spermatozoa
This research was supported by grants from National 973 Plan of China (G1999055901), Nature Science Foundation of China (30170485) and the Foundation of Science and Technology of Jiangsu Province, China (BG2003028). We thank Dr. Aimin Tang for his critical review of the manuscript.
A list of the 149 reported genes. Genes are classified based on their functions and arranged by their hybridization signal intensities in microarray
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