Organization of Chromosomes in Human Sperm Nucleus



Chromosomes in the human sperm nucleus adopt a hierarchy of structures starting from protamine toroids, the elementary units of DNA packaging, and up to the higher-order organization of chromosome territories. Nonrandom intranuclear positioning of individual chromosomes, with centromeres aggregated in the internally located chromocenter and preferential location of telomeres at the nuclear periphery, suggests a highly defined architecture of the sperm nucleus at the level of genome. Such an ordered chromatin organization in the sperm nucleus may have a functional significance and determine the onset of paternal gene activity at early stages of embryonic development. This chapter describes relevant experimental data with primary attention to studies of human spermatozoa and discusses the implications of sperm chromosome organization for male reproductive health.


Human Sperm Nuclei Meiotic Sex Chromosome Inactivation (MSCI) Zalensky Mudrak Sbracia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





Chromosome territory


Fluorescence in situ hybridization


Intracytoplasmic sperm injection


Meiotic sex chromosome inactivation


Meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin


Whole chromosome painting probe



The authors thank Dr. Maria Svetlova for her valuable comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by RFBR grant 12-04-01489-a.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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