The Instituto Bernabeu applies a new technique to detect alterations in sperm production

August, 16th 2017

Researchers of the Instituto Bernabeu present a study at the meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), held in Switzerland from 2 to 5 July, in which new techniques are applied to enable more precise detection of sperm production.

The study selected by the scientific committee of the international meeting: “A new approach to detected copy number variation in Y-chromosome that affects spermatogenesis”, applies a new technique called MLPA, which is more precise than previous techniques, to detect whether there is a variation in the number of DNA copies in the Y-chromosome.

The experts explain that there is a region in the Y-chromosome known by the name of AZF which contains the information necessary to enable sperm production (spermatogenesis) in the testicle. The AZF region may undergo losses (deletions) or gains (duplications) in the number of copies of its DNA and the consequence of these variations in the number of copies may have a negative effect on sperm production.

Doctor Eva García, author of the study together with Belén Lledó, José Antonio Ortiz, Ruth Morales, Ana Fabregat and the medical director of the Instituto Bernabeu, Doctor Rafael Bernabeu, indicates that the aim of the research is to ascertain whether the new MLPA technique is more sensitive than the conventional PCR technique when analysing small losses or gains. The study also looked in depth at whether the presence or absence of these variations in the number of copies of AZF detected via MLPA affects sperm production.

The results of this study show that the highest numbers of losses are found in patients who do not produce sperm (azoospermic), and this affects spermatogenesis. The researchers conclude that the duplications in the AZF region have a protective effect in this sperm production process.

A new approach to detected copy number variation in Y-chromosome that affects the spermatogenesis. E.García-Hernández, B. Lledó, J.A. Ortiz, R. Morales, A. Fabregat, J. Ll. Aparicio, R. Bernabeu


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