Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male Infertility: Scientists Discover Candidate Gene For Impaired Spermatogenesis

Date:
July 5, 2001
Source:
European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology
Summary:
Researchers in the Netherlands believe they have identified a gene that is involved in causing infertility in men. Dr Judith Gianotten told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Lausanne that the ZNF214 gene is probably a candidate gene for impaired spermatogenesis (an inability to make enough sperm cells).

Lausanne, Switzerland -- Researchers in the Netherlands believe they have identified a gene that is involved in causing infertility in men.

Dr Judith Gianotten told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Lausanne today (Wednesday 4 July) that the ZNF214 gene is probably a candidate gene for impaired spermatogenesis (an inability to make enough sperm cells).

Now they are testing the gene in human testicle cells and mice to discover exactly what role the gene plays in the production (or not) of sperm cells. An understanding of how it works may help researchers in the future to design ways of targeting the gene and developing treatments to men affected by this form of infertility.

Dr Gianotten, a researcher from the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Amsterdam Academic Medical Center, told the conference that the ZNF214 gene mainly expresses itself in the testis and is located on chromosome 11p15. This part of the chromosome is linked to the Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) – a complex overgrowth disorder, which often involves boys being born with undescended testicles (cryptorchidism) who suffer from infertility as adults1. She said: "For these reasons we hypothesized that ZNF214 could be involved in male subfertility and we decided to test whether this was the case.

"First we investigated whether this gene was associated with impaired spermatogenesis. We found a significantly different distribution of DNA variations in this gene2 in patients with low fertility compared with the control group, which indicated that the gene was indeed associated. So we screened the gene for mutations in men suffering from infertility due to impaired spermatogenesis."

The researchers took DNA from 77 men with very low sperm counts and compared it with DNA from a control group of 65 men with normal sperm counts. In three patients from the infertile group, three new mutations of the ZNF214 gene were found. These mutations were not found amongst the control group.

For two of the patients in whom a mutation was found DNA from their parents was available, and this showed that in both cases the mutation had been inherited from their mothers. All three patients appeared to be normal in every other respect, and none had any symptom of BWS. One of them had a medical history of cryptorchidism.

Dr Gianotten said: "These results suggest that the ZNF214 gene is involved in impaired spermatogenesis, either on its own, or because it causes cryptorchidism which in turn leads to impaired spermatogenesis. In this study only one of the patients in which a mutation was found reported a history of cryptorchidism. This might indicate the involvement of ZNF214 in impaired spermatogenesis on its own. However, it is also possible that ZNF214 is a disease-causing gene for cryptorchidism.

"The fact that the mutation in the gene appears to be inherited from the mother explains how subfertility due to impaired spermatogenesis can be passed on to the next generation. If it was inherited from the father then the mutation would become extinct in the population."

Dr Gianotten said more research was needed to confirm the findings. "At the moment we are preparing studies to see how the gene is expressed in different cell types of human testicles, and we are looking for the identical gene in mice to test the function of the gene and its mutation."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. "Male Infertility: Scientists Discover Candidate Gene For Impaired Spermatogenesis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010704092511.htm>.
European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. (2001, July 5). Male Infertility: Scientists Discover Candidate Gene For Impaired Spermatogenesis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010704092511.htm
European Society For Human Reproduction And Embryology. "Male Infertility: Scientists Discover Candidate Gene For Impaired Spermatogenesis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010704092511.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins