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Deficient Expression of DGCR8 in Human Testis is Related to Spermatogenesis Dysfunction, Especially in Meiosis I

Authors Babakhanzadeh E, Khodadadian A, Nazari M, Dehghan Tezerjani M, Aghaei SM, Ghasemifar S, Hosseinnia M, Mazaheri M

Received 25 March 2020

Accepted for publication 6 May 2020

Published 15 May 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 185—192

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S255431

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Emad Babakhanzadeh,1,2,* Ali Khodadadian,1,* Majid Nazari,1 Masoud Dehghan Tezerjani,1 Seyed Mohsen Aghaei,1 Sina Ghasemifar,1 Mehdi Hosseinnia,3 Mahta Mazaheri1,4

1Department of Medical Genetics, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran; 2Medical Genetics Research Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran; 3Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran; 4Mother and Newborn Health Research Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Mahta Mazaheri Email mahta.mazaheri2019@gmail.com

Introduction: DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 8 (DGCR8) contributes to miRNA biogenesis, and defects in its expression could lead to defects in spermatogenesis.
Methods: Here, we assess gene and protein expression levels of DGCR8 in the testicular biopsy specimens obtained from men with obstructive azoospermia (OA, n = 19) and various types of non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) including maturation arrest (MA, n = 17), Sertoli cell-only syndrome (SCOS, n = 20) and hypospermatogenesis (HYPO, 18). Also, samples of men with NOA were divided into two groups based on successful and unsuccessful sperm recovery, NOA+ in 21 patients and NOA− in 34 patients.
Results: Examinations disclosed a severe decrease in DGCR8 in samples with MA and SCOS in comparison to OA samples (P < 0.001). Also, the results showed DGCR8 has significantly lower expression in testis tissues of NOA− group in comparison to NOA+ group (p< 0.05). Western blot analysis confirmed that the DGCR8 protein was not expressed in SCOS samples and had a very low expression in MA and HYPO samples.
Discussion: The results of this survey showed that DGCR8 is an important gene for the entire spermatogenesis pathway. Moreover, DGCR8 gene plays an important role in the diagnosis of NOA subgroups, and also the expression changes in it might contribute to SCOS or MA phenotypes. This gene with considering other related genes can also be a predictor of sperm retrieval.

Keywords: DGCR8, obstructive azoospermia, non-obstructive azoospermia, spermatogenesis


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