Spontaneous regression over time of the germinal epithelium in a Y chromosome-microdeleted patient: Case report.
Azoospermia factor (AZF) region microdeletions, which account for about 10-15% of patients with oligoazoospermia, seem to lack a close genotype-testicular phenotype correlation. Although many genetic and non-genetic factors may contribute to this outcome, it was thought that a spontaneous regression of testicular germ cells might also play a relevant role. The opportunity for carrying out two different testicular biopsies one year apart in an AZFc-microdeleted patient enabled corroboration of this possibility. Indeed, the first biopsy showed a spermatocyte maturation arrest with mean Johnsen scores of 4 and 3.9 in the right and left testes respectively. One year later, the right testicular biopsy showed a picture of Sertoli cell-only syndrome in 90% of the tubules examined, and of spermatogonial maturation arrest in the remaining tubules, with a mean Johnsen score of 2.1. The almost complete absence of germinal cells was confirmed by four left testicular sperm aspirations (TESA), conducted at the same time as the biopsy during an intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycle, which showed the almost exclusive presence of Sertoli cells (85% of the whole cell population). No spermatozoa could be retrieved by TESA or testicular biopsy. To our knowledge, this is the first case of a spontaneous regression of the germinal cell epithelium over time in a patient with a Yq microdeletion without the apparent intervention of any cause known to affect the germinal epithelium. (+info)
High deletion frequency of the complete AZFa sequence in men with Sertoli-cell-only syndrome.
We have developed a rapid screening protocol for deletion analysis of the complete AZFa sequence (i.e. 792 kb) on the Y chromosome of patients with idiopathic Sertoli-cell-only (SCO) syndrome. This Y deletion was mapped earlier in proximal Yq11 and first found in the Y chromosome of the SCO patient JOLAR, now designated as the AZFa reference patient. We now show that similar AZFa deletions occur with a frequency of 9% in the SCO patient group. In two multiplex polymerase chain reaction experiments, deletions of the complete AZFa sequence were identified by a typical deletion pattern of four new sequence-tagged sites (STS): AZFa-prox1, positive; AZFa-prox2, negative; AZFa-dist1, negative; AZFa-dist2, positive. The STS were established in the proximal and distal neighbourhoods of the two retroviral sequence blocks (HERV15yq1 and HERV15yq2) which encompass the break-point sites for AZFa deletions of the human Y chromosome. We have found deletions of the complete AZFa sequence always associated with a uniform SCO pattern on testicular biopsies. Patients with other testicular histologies as described in the literature and in this paper have only partial AZFa deletions. The current AZFa screening protocols can therefore be improved by analysing the extension of AZFa deletions. This may provide a valuable prognostic tool for infertility clinics performing testicular sperm extraction, as it would enable the exclusion of AZFa patients with a complete SCO syndrome. (+info)
Y-chromosome microdeletions and cytogenetic findings in unselected ICSI candidates at a Danish fertility clinic.
PURPOSE: To determine the frequency and type of microdeletions on the Y chromosome, and to evaluate cytogenetic findings in unselected ICSI candidates at a Danish Fertility Clinic. METHODS: Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples, which were collected prospectively from 400 ICSI candidates attending the Fertility Clinic at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. Twenty-five sequence tagged sites (STSs) spanning the azoospermia factor (AZF) regions of the Y chromosome were amplified in 5 multiplex sets to investigate Y microdeletions. Semen analysis, karyotype analysis, and histological evaluation of testicular biopsies were also performed. RESULTS: Y microdeletions were detected in 3 (0.75%) of 400 unselected ICSI candidates. The frequency of Y microdeletions was found higher in azoospermic men (2%) than in oligozoospermic men (0.6%). Two patients having oligozoospermia had Y microdeletions in the AZFc region only, whereas the patient having azoospermia had Y microdeletions spanning the AZFb and AZFc regions. No microdeletion was detected in the AZFa region. Chromosomal anomalies were found in 6.1% of azoospermic men and in 2.7% of oligozoospermic men. A high frequency of cytogenetic abnormalities was found in normozoospermic men with fertilization failure (7.4%). CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of Y microdeletions both in the unselected ICSI candidates and subgroups classified as azoospermic and oligozoospermic seems rather low compared to results of previous studies, which have been quite varying. It is possible that in addition to patient selection criteria, ethnical and geographical differences may contribute to these variations. Cytogenetic evaluation of normozoospermic men with fertilization failure seems indicated because of a high frequency of cytogenetic abnormalities. (+info)
Absence of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and M2A immunoreactivities in Sertoli cell-only syndrome and maturation arrest with and without AZF microdeletions.
BACKGROUND: Some genes identified in the AZF locus are expressed only in germinal cells; others are ubiquitous. AZF microdeletions seem to occur at the earliest stages of ontogenetic development, and one might therefore assume that Sertoli cells preserve some immature characteristics and that their immunophenotype may be modified by the existence of a molecular defect. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two immunohistological markers of Sertoli cell immaturity [anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and M2A] were tested in two histopathological groups (maturation arrest at spermatocyte I stage and Sertoli cell-only syndrome). We analysed 68 testicular samples obtained from 39 patients with non-obstructive azoospermia associated or not with AZF microdeletions. RESULTS: The absence of M2A and AMH immunoreactivity in adult gonads was observed without any correlation to spermatogenetic impairment or molecular deficit in the AZF region. In the samples of these two series, Sertoli cells showed a mature phenotype for AMH and M2A markers. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with AZF microdeletions, the genotype-phenotype correlations seem to be more complex than has been suggested previously; more detailed characterization of the immunohistochemical phenotype associated with the molecular defect may be useful in understanding the spermatogenic failure mechanism. (+info)
Natural transmission of a partial AZFb deletion of the Y chromosome over three generations: case report.
The natural transmission of microdeletions of the Y chromosome is occasionally reported in the literature. Here we describe the natural transmission of a partial AZFb deletion over three generations. PCR amplification of several sequence tagged site markers in the three AZF regions of the Y chromosome was carried out in a patient with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, his father and his naturally conceived son. The deletion was confirmed by Southern blotting. The propositum, his father and his son showed a probably identical, partial deletion of the distal part of the AZFb region, involving sY130 and sY143. The deletion was confirmed by Southern blotting using the sY130 probe. Partial AZFb microdeletions can be associated with moderate oligozoospermia allowing natural conception and therefore natural transmission of this genetic anomaly. Further studies are needed to define the pathogenetic significance of microdeletions involving sY130 and sY143. (+info)
Clinical characterization of 42 oligospermic or azoospermic men with microdeletion of the AZFc region of the Y chromosome, and of 18 children conceived via ICSI.
BACKGROUND: Severe spermatogenic compromise may be the result of a Y-chromosomal deletion of the AZFc region. Prior studies are limited to relatively small numbers of AZFc-deleted men. In this study, we have fully characterized 42 infertile men with a Y chromosome microdeletion strictly confined to the AZFc region, and we report on 18 children conceived through the use of ICSI. METHODS: A total of 42 oligospermic or azoospermic men had AZFc deletions. History, physical examination, karyotype, FSH, LH, testosterone, testis histology and results of ICSI using ejaculated or testis sperm were retrospectively accumulated in two academic clinical practices. RESULTS: All men were somatically healthy. Karyotypes were 46,XY in all but two men. FSH, LH, testosterone and testis histology could not differentiate those with oligospermia or azoospermia, nor could they predict whether sperm could be found in harvested testis tissue. Paternal age was not increased. Sperm production appeared stable over time. The results of ICSI were not affected by the AZFc deletion. All but one of the offspring were healthy. The sons inherited the AZFc deletion with no increase in length. CONCLUSIONS: AZFc-deleted men are somatically healthy, will most likely have useable sperm, will have stable sperm production over time and will have a good chance to experience biological paternity, but their sons will also be AZFc-deleted. (+info)
AZF microdeletions associated with idiopathic and non-idiopathic cases with cryptorchidism and varicocele.
AIM: To identify submicroscopic interstitial deletions in azoospermia factor (AZF) loci in idiopathic and non-idiopathic cases of male infertility in Indians. METHODS: One hundred and twenty two infertile males with oligozoospermia or azoospermia were included in this study. Semen analysis was done to determine the sperm density, i.e., normospermia (>20 million/mL), oligozoospermia (<20 million/mL) or azoospermia. They were subjected to detailed clinical examination and endocrinological and cytogenetic study. Thirty G-banded metaphases were analyzed in the 122 cases and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) microdeletion analysis was done in 70 cytogenetically normal subjects. For this genomic DNA was extracted using peripheral blood. The STS primers tested in each case were sY84, sY86 (AZFa); sY127, sY134 (AZFb); sY254, sY255 (AZFc). PCR amplifications found to be negative were repeated at least 3 times to confirm the deletion of a given marker. The PCR products were analyzed on a 1.8 % agarose gel. RESULTS: Eight of the 70 cases (11.4 %) showed deletion of at least one of the STS markers. Deletions were detected in cases with known and unknown aetiology with bilateral severe testiculopathy and also in cryptorchid and varicocele subjects. CONCLUSION: AZF microdeletions were seen in both idiopathic and non-idiopathic cases with cryptorchidism and varicocele. The finding of a genetic aetiology in infertile men with varicocele and cryptorchidism suggests the need for molecular screening in non-idiopathic cases. (+info)
PCR analysis of Yq microdeletions in infertile males, a study from South India.
AIM: To estimate the frequency of microdeletions in the long arm of Y-chromosome of 20 infertile males from South India. METHODS: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using Y-specific STS of azoospermia factor (AZF) regions i.e., SY 84 for AZFa, SY 127 for AZFb and SY 254 for AZFc. RESULTS: Of the 20 infertile subjects 3 (15 %), one azoospermic and two oligozoospermic, showed microdeletions in the AZF region of Y-chromosome. CONCLUSION: The frequency of deletions involving AZF region of the Y-chromosome is 15 % in azoospermic and severely oligozoospermic infertile men. PCR amplification of AZF locus is useful for the diagnosis of microdeletions in the Y-chromosome. (+info)