Altered miRNA profile in testis of post-cryptorchidopexy patients with non-obstructive azoospermia
Cryptorchidism is one of the most common causes of non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) leading to male infertility. Despite various medical approaches been utilised, many patients still suffer from infertility. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in the progress of spermatogenesis; however, little is known about the miRNA expression profile in the testes. Therefore, the miRNA profile was assessed in the testis of post-cryptorchidopexy patients.
Three post-cryptorchidopexy testicular tissue samples from patients aged 23, 26 and 28 years old and three testis tissues from patients with obstructive azoospermia (controls) aged 24, 25 and 36 years old were used in this study. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to perform the miRNA expression profiling. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays were subsequently used to confirm the results of several randomly-selected and annotated miRNAs.
A series of miRNAs were found to be altered between post-cryptorchidopexy testicular tissues and control tissues, including 297 downregulated and 152 upregulated miRNAs. In the subsequent qRT-PCR assays, the expression levels of most of the selected miRNAs (9/12, P < 0.05) were consistent with the results of NGS technology. Furthermore, signal transduction, adaptive immune response and biological regulation were associated with the putative target genes of the differentially-expressed miRNAs via GO analysis. In addition, oxidative phosphorylation, Parkinson’s disease and ribosomal pathways were shown to be enriched using KEGG pathway analysis of the differentially-expressed genes.
This study provides a global view of the miRNAs involved in post-cryptorchidopexy testicular tissues as well as the altered expression of miRNAs compared to control tissues, thus confirming the vital role of miRNAs in cryptorchidism.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12958-018-0393-3
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