Genetic Landscape of Nonobstructive Azoospermia and New Perspectives for the Clinic
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AuthorCerván-Martín, Miriam; Castilla Alcalá, José Antonio; Palomino Morales, Rogelio Jesús; Carmona López, Francisco David
Male infertilityAzoospermiaGenetic componentMutationsSingle nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
Cerván-Martín, M.; Castilla, J.A.; Palomino-Morales, R.J.; Carmona, F.D. Genetic Landscape of Nonobstructive Azoospermia and New Perspectives for the Clinic. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 300. [doi:10.3390/jcm9020300]
SponsorshipFunded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation (ref. SAF2016-78722-R) and the “Ramón y Cajal” program (ref. RYC-2014-16458).
Nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) represents the most severe expression of male infertility, involving around 1% of the male population and 10% of infertile men. This condition is characterised by the inability of the testis to produce sperm cells, and it is considered to have an important genetic component. During the last two decades, di erent genetic anomalies, including microdeletions of the Y chromosome, karyotype defects, and missense mutations in genes involved in the reproductive function, have been described as the primary cause of NOA in many infertile men. However, these alterations only explain around 25% of azoospermic cases, with the remaining patients showing an idiopathic origin. Recent studies clearly suggest that the so-called idiopathic NOA has a complex aetiology with a polygenic inheritance, which may alter the spermatogenic process. Although we are far from a complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying NOA, the use of the new technologies for genetic analysis has enabled a considerable increase in knowledge during the last years. In this review, we will provide a comprehensive and updated overview of the genetic basis of NOA, with a special focus on the possible application of the recent insights in clinical practice.