Spermatozoa from patients with seminal alterations exhibit a differential micro ribonucleic acid profile

Capsule:
Spermatozoa from infertile patients with asthenozoospermia, teratozoospermia, or oligozoospermia exhibit a differential miRNA profile associated with biological processes related to their particular seminal alterations.

Authors:
Albert Salas-Huetos, M.Sc., Joan Blanco, Ph.D., Francesca Vidal, Ph.D., Anna Godo, M.Sc., Mark Grossmann, Ph.D., Maria Carme Pons, M.Sc., Silvia F-Fernández, M.Sc., Nicolás Garrido, Ph.D., Ester Anton, Ph.D.

Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 591-601

Abstract:

Objective:
To compare the microRNA (miRNA) expression profile in spermatozoa from three infertile populations vs. a group of fertile men.

Design:
Evaluation of the expression level of 736 miRNAs in human spermatozoa using TaqMan quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction.

Setting:
University research facility.

Patient(s):
Semen samples with a single seminal alteration were collected from infertile individuals: asthenozoospermic (n = 10), teratozoospermic (n = 10), and oligozoospermic (n = 10).

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Correlation of the expression level of each miRNA with seminal parameters, age, and chromosome instability; clustering of the individuals according to their miRNA expression profiles and influence of the seminogram, age, chromosome instability, and assisted reproductive technology outcome in the clustering; analysis of the differentially expressed miRNAs (DE-miRNAs) in each infertile population; genome annotation of these DE-miRNAs; and ontological analysis of their predicted targets.

Result(s):
The hsa-miR-34b-3p correlated with age, the hsa-miR-629-3p with sperm motility, and the hsa-miR-335-5p, hsa-miR-885-5p, and hsa-miR-152-3p with sperm concentration. The individuals clustered into two groups, and only the seminogram was differentially distributed. We identified 32 DE-miRNAs in the asthenozoospermic group, 19 in the teratozoospermic group, and 18 in the oligozoospermic group. The up-regulated miRNAs presented an enriched localization in introns, affecting relevant genes for spermatogenesis. The predicted targets of the DE-miRNAs contained critical genes associated to infertility, and their ontological analysis revealed significantly associated functions related to the seminal alterations of each group.

Conclusion(s):
Spermatozoa from patients with seminal alterations exhibit a differential miRNA profile. This provides new evidence that miRNAs have an essential role in spermatogenesis, contributing to the mechanisms involved in human fertility.

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