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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 238; doi:10.3390/ijms18020238

Serum Metabolomic Profiling Identifies Characterization of Non-Obstructive Azoospermic Men

1
Department of Urology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
2
Department of Nephrology, General Hospital of Jinan Military, Jinan 250000, China
3
The Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, the Institute of Systems Biomedicine, School of Basic Medical Sciences, and Key Laboratory of Molecular Cardiovascular Sciences of Ministry of Education, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China
4
Department of Human Sperm Bank, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ting-Li (Morgan) Han
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Urology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2701 KB, uploaded 25 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Male infertility is considered a common health problem, and non-obstructive azoospermia with unclear pathogenesis is one of the most challenging tasks for clinicians. The objective of this study was to investigate the differential serum metabolic pattern in non-obstructive azoospermic men and to determine potential biomarkers related to spermatogenic dysfunction. Serum samples from patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (n = 22) and healthy controls (n = 31) were examined using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). Serum metabolomic profiling could differentiate non-obstructive azoospermic patients from healthy control subjects. A total of 24 metabolites were screened and identified as potential markers, many of which are involved in energy production, oxidative stress and cell apoptosis in spermatogenesis. Moreover, the results showed that various metabolic pathways, including d-glutamine and d-glutamate metabolism, taurine and hypotaurine metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, the citrate cycle and alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism, were disrupted in patients with non-obstructive azoospermia. Our results indicated that the serum metabolic disorders may contribute to the etiology of non-obstructive azoospermia. This study suggested that serum metabolomics could identify unique metabolic patterns of non-obstructive azoospermia and provide novel insights into the pathogenesis underlying male infertility. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-obstructive azoospermia; metabolomic; serum; HPLC-MS/MS; biomarkers non-obstructive azoospermia; metabolomic; serum; HPLC-MS/MS; biomarkers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, C.; Zhao, M.; Yang, Y.; Wu, H.; Zhang, H.; Lin, H.; Zheng, L.; Jiang, H. Serum Metabolomic Profiling Identifies Characterization of Non-Obstructive Azoospermic Men. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 238.

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