Chromosomal abnormality and Y chromosome microdeletion in Chinese patients with azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia

A Zhou-Cun, Yuan Yang, Si-Zhong Zhang, Wei Zhang, Li Lin
Yi Chuan Xue Bao, Acta Genetica Sinica 2006, 33 (2): 111-6
Chromosomal abnormality and Y chromosome microdeletion are regarded as two frequent genetic causes associated with spermatogenic failure in Caucasian population. To investigate the distribution of the two genetic defects in Chinese patients with azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia, karyotype analysis by G-banding was carried out in 358 idiopathic infertile men, including 256 patients with azoospermia and 102 patients with severe oligozoospermia, and screening of AZF region microdeletion of Y chromosome by multiplex PCR was performed in those patients without detectable chromosomal abnormality and 100 fertile controls. Of 358 patients, 39(10.9%) were found to have chromosomal abnormalities in which Klinefelter's syndrome (47, XXY) was the most common chromosomal aberration. The incidence of sex chromosomal abnormality in patients with azoospermia was significantly higher than that in patients with severe oligozoospermia (12.1% vs 1%). Among the rest of the 319 patients with normal karyotype, 46 (14.4%) were found to have microdeletions in AZF region. The prevalence rates of AZF microdeletion was 15% and 13.1% in patients with azoospermia and severe oligozoospermia respectively. The microdeletion in AZFc was the most frequent deletion and all the microdeletions in AZFa were found in azoospermic patients. No microdeletion in AZF region was detected in fertile controls. In conclusion, chromosomal abnormality and AZF region microdeletion of Y chromosome might account for about 25% of Chinese infertile patients with azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia, suggesting the two abnormalities are important genetic etiology of spermatogenic failure in Chinese population and it is essential to screen them during diagnosis of male infertility before in vitro assisted fertilization by introcytoplasmic sperm injection.

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