Male Infertility Linked to Sperm Gene
Gene Glitch May Contribute to Male Infertility, According to Lab Tests in Mice
Oct. 17, 2007 -- Scientists today announced that they have found a possible
genetic cause of male infertility.
The discovery may eventually lead to new treatments for male
The researchers studied a gene called JHDM2A in male mice. Without that
gene, the mice had few mature sperm, and those sperm were misshapen.
"Defects in this gene could be the cause for some cases of male
infertility," researcher Yi Zhang, PhD, says in a news release.
Zhang is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of
biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill's medical school.
"Because this gene has a very specific effect on the development of
functional sperm, it holds great potential as a target for new infertility
treatments that are unlikely to disrupt other functions within the body,"
Zhang and colleagues report their findings in Nature.
Those findings are based on lab tests on mice. The researchers are now
looking for mutations in the JHDM2A gene in infertility patients.