Assessment of expression profiles of three microRNAs and their clinical, laboratory, and histopathological correlations in non-obstructive azoospermia : A controlled study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Andrology department, Faculty of Medicine, SUEZ CANAL UNIVERSITY - FOM

2 Genetics Unit, Histology and Cell Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University

3 Dermatology Department, Elmenshawy General Hospital

4 Dermatology Department Port said General Hospital

5 Dermatology Department El Arish General Hospital

6 lecturer of andrology, faculty of medicine suez canal university, Ismalia, egypt


Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles in human spermatogenesis, but little is known about seminal
plasma miRNAs in infertile men.
Aim: To assess miRNA-34b, miRNA-181a, and miRNA-429 expression profiles in seminal plasma of patients with
nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) and to correlate these expression profiles with their clinical, laboratory, and
histopathological features.
Patients and Methods: This was a prospective case–control study which included two groups: 50 males with NOA and 50
healthy fertile males who attended the Andrology Outpatient Clinic, the Genetics Unit, and a private IVF Center. Semen
analysis and assessment of the three miRNAs expression profiles in seminal plasma were done by real-time PCR for both
groups. Hormonal profile assessment (follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, and prolactin),
testicular sperm extraction, and histopathology were done for the patients’ group.
Results: In this study, there were statistically significant upregulations of both miRNA-429 and miRNA-181a in the patients’
group compared with controls (P<0.001), which was not the case for miRNA34b (P=0.259). There were statistically significant
relationships between the three miRNAs, testicular sperm extraction results, and histopathological patterns (P<0.05).There
were significant positive correlations between miRNA34b, miRNA-429, and follicle-stimulating hormone(r=0.466, P=0.001;
r=0.375, P=0.009, respectively) and significant negative correlations between miRNA34b, miRNA-181a, and Johnsen’s
score (r=-0.287, P=0.048; r=-0.351, P=0.015, respectively). There was statistically significant negative correlation between
miRNA-429 and testosterone (r=-0.330, P=0.022).
Conclusion: The expression levels of miRNA 181aandmiRNA-429 only were upregulated in NOA patients compared with
controls. Thus, they may represent useful noninvasive biomarkers for NOA.


Main Subjects