Date of this Version

2-7-2011

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Infertility is a common problem that affects approximately 15% of the population. Although many advances have been made in the treatment of infertility, the molecular and genetic causes of male infertility remain largely elusive. This review will present a summary of our current knowledge on the genetic origin of male infertility and the key events of male meiosis. It focuses on chromosome synapsis and meiotic recombination and the problems that arise when errors in these processes occur, specifically meiotic arrest and chromosome aneuploidy, the leading cause of pregnancy loss in humans. In addition, meiosis-specific candidate genes will be discussed, including a discussion on why we have been largely unsuccessful at identifying disease-causing mutations in infertile men. Finally clinical applications of sperm aneuploidy screening will be touched upon along with future prospective clinical tests to better characterize male infertility in a move towards personalized medicine.

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