Author(s): Nuti F, Krausz C
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Abstract Despite the identification of an increasing number of candidate genes involved in spermatogenesis, the armamentarium of diagnostic genetic tests in male infertility remains extremely limited. A number of new causative mutations have been reported for hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism but still the genetic diagnosis in this pathological condition is made only in about 20\% of cases. The sole molecular genetic test that is routinely proposed in severe spermatogenic disturbances is screening for Yq microdeletion. The search for causative mutations in the Y chromosome, and in autosomal and X-linked genes, has mostly been unsuccessful. The paucity of gene mutations raises questions about the appropriateness of the currently used screening approaches. Among the proposed genetic risk factors, gr/gr deletion of the Y chromosome seems to be the most promising polymorphism. Other polymorphisms are awaiting further confirmation, whereas for some (POLG, DAZL, USP26, FSHR) a lack of association with abnormal spermatogenesis has now been ascertained. It is likely that some polymorphisms lead to testicular dysfunction only when in association with a specific genetic background or with environmental factors. Future large-scale studies with stringent study design may provide a more efficient way to identify clinically relevant genetic factors of male infertility.
This article was published in Reprod Biomed Online
and referenced in JBR Journal of Clinical Diagnosis and Research