[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many genetic defects with a chromosomal basis affect male reproduction via a range of different mechanisms. Chromosome position is a well-known marker of nuclear organization, and alterations in standard patterns can lead to disease phenotypes such as cancer, laminopathies and epilepsy. It has been demonstrated that normal mammalian sperm adopt a pattern with the centromeres aligning towards the nuclear centre. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that altered chromosome position in the sperm head is associated with male infertility.
The average nuclear positions of fluorescence in-situ hybridization signals for three centromeric probes (for chromosomes X, Y and 18) were compared in normoozoospermic men and in men with compromised semen parameters.
In controls, the centromeres of chromosomes X, Y and 18 all occupied a central nuclear location. In infertile men the sex chromosomes appeared more likely to be distributed in a pattern not distinguishable from a random model.
Our findings cast doubt on the reliability of centromeric probes for aneuploidy screening. The analysis of chromosome position in sperm heads should be further investigated for the screening of infertile men.
Human Reproduction 07/2008; 23(6):1263-70. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of nuclear organisation, most commonly determining the nuclear location of chromosome territories and individual loci, have furthered our understanding of nuclear function, differentiation and disease. In this study, by examining eight loci on different chromosomes, we tested hypotheses that: (1) totipotent human blastomeres adopt a nuclear organisation akin to that of committed cells; (2) nuclear organisation is different in chromosomally abnormal blastomeres; and (3) human blastomeres adopt a ;chromocentre' pattern. Analysis of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) conceptuses permits valuable insight into the cell biology of totipotent human nuclei. Here, extrapolations from images of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) cases were used to make comparisons between totipotent blastomeres and several committed cells, showing some differences and similarities. Comparisons between chromosomally abnormal nuclei and those with no detected abnormality (NDA) suggest that the former display a significant non-random pattern for all autosomal loci, but there is a less distinct, possibly random, pattern in 'NDA' nuclei. No evidence was found that the presence of an extra chromosome is accompanied by an altered nuclear location for that chromosome. Centromeric loci on chromosomes 15 and 16 normally seen at the nuclear periphery were mostly centrally located in aneuploid cells, providing some evidence of a 'chromocentre'; however, the chromosome-18 centromere was more peripheral, similar to committed cells. Our results provide clues to the nature of totipotency in human cells and might have future applications for preimplantation diagnosis and nuclear transfer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the difficulties in determining the relative maternal vs. paternal contributions to infertility it is often suggested that a male factor problem is implicated in 50% of cases. This review is concerned specifically with male fertility disorders that have a clearly defined genetic component. The genetic causes of infertility can be broken down into Y chromosome deletions (specifically deletions in the AZF a, b, and c regions), single gene disorders (particularly those relating to the CFTR gene), multifactorial causes and chromosome abnormalities. Chromosome abnormalities can be numerical (such as trisomy--full blown or mosaic) or structural (such as inversions or translocations). Of especial interest at present is the incidence of levels of numerical chromosome abnormalities in the sperm of infertile men; prospects for screening sperm for such abnormalities are discussed.
Human Fertility 04/2005; 8(1):19-26. · 1.60 Impact Factor