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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression pattern of germ cell-specific genes in the testis of patients with nonobstructive azoospermia: usefulness as a molecular marker to predict the presence of testicular sperm.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the expression pattern of testis-specific genes of patients with various spermatogenic defects and their usefulness as a molecular marker to predict the presence of testicular spermatozoa in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia undergoing IVF. DESIGN: Prospective, controlled study.Setting: Hospital-based infertility research laboratory. PATIENT(s): Fifty-eight men with azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia. INTERVENTION(s): Testicular biopsy was done in the patients with obstructive or nonobstructive azoospermia, including Sertoli cell-only syndrome, maturation arrest, severe hypospermatogenesis, and normal spermatogenesis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(s): Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was performed using 1 microgram of total RNA extracted from testicular tissues. Three pairs of primers were used for amplification of male germ cell-specific genes ( DAZ, transcribed in male germ cells; PGK2, in late spermatocytes and spermatids; protamine-2, in spermatids) as molecular markers. Testicular sperm was obtained by multiple testicular sperm extraction. RESULT(s): The DAZ, PGK2, and protamine-2 genes were expressed in 38, 30, and 21 of the 43 patients with nonobstructive azoospermia, respectively. Testicular spermatozoa were successfully extracted in 4 of 43 patients with nonobstructive azoospermia with the use of multiple testicular sperm extraction. Detection of protamine-2 transcripts predicted the presence or absence of spermatozoa in the testicular tissue in 39 of 43 patients (91%). CONCLUSION(s): Expression of the protamine-2 gene may be a useful molecular marker to predict the presence of testicular sperm in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia.[1]


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