Altered protamine 1 (PRM1)/ protamine 2 (PRM2) mRNA ratio in testicular biopsy samples correlates with sperm quality and its fertilising ability. This study is planned to assess PRM1/ PRM2 mRNA ratio in subgroups of azoospermia to suggest a more reliable and accurate marker for assessing sperm quality in nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA). A cross-sectional study was done on testicular biopsy samples, taken from 106 azoospermic patients. Samples were histologically classified into subgroups: 36 obstructive azoospermia (OA), and two groups of NOA: 41 round spermatid maturation arrest (SMA) and 29 Sertoli cell-only syndrome (SCOS). OA samples showed histologically normal spermatogenesis and serve as a positive control. mRNA expression of jumonji domain-containing 1A (JMJD1A), PRM1, PRM2 and transition nuclear proteins (TNP1, TNP2) genes was determined, by RT-qPCR. Significantly lower expression of JMJD1A (p <.001), PRM1 (p =.0265) and PRM2 (p =.0032) has been seen in the SCOS group of NOA. We found significant (p <.001) increase in PRM1/PRM2 mRNA ratio in testicular biopsy samples of SCOS group of NOA patients and significant negative correlation of PRM1/PRM2 mRNA ratio with JMJD1A. Hence, PRM1/PRM2 mRNA ratio may represent a more reliable and accurate marker to assess sperm quality in NOA in addition to standard semen parameters.
- Sertoli cell-only syndrome
- nonobstructive azoospermia
- protamine 1/protamine 2 mRNA ratio
- round spermatid maturation arrest