THE ROLE OF THE Y CHROMOSOME IN MALE INFERTILITY
It is estimated that as many as 10% of couples worldwide suffer from infertility or reduced fertility, and that in approximately half of these cases this results from defective spermatogenesis. In 60% of these infertile men, the failure to produce mature germ cells (i.e. azoospermia) or the formation of low numbers of sperm (i.e. oligozoospermia) can be ascribed a genetic aetiology. Few of the loci associated with male infertility have been mapped in humans; however, several genetic models of defective germ-cell development and differentiation have been described in mice. The schematic in Figure 1 summarizes the main features of spermatogenesis in humans.
c1 Address for correspondence: Nabeel A Affara, Reader in Molecular Genetics and Genomics, University of Cambridge, Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, UK. Tel: +44 1223 333 777; Fax: +44 1223 333 777; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First published 3 January 2001 in Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine: http://www.expertreviews.org/01002319h.htm Updated: 22 March 2004