Next Article in Journal
Interaction of New-Developed TiO2-Based Photocatalytic Nanoparticles with Pathogenic Microorganisms and Human Dermal and Pulmonary Fibroblasts
Next Article in Special Issue
Survivin and NAIP in Human Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Protective Role of the Association of Serenoa repens, Lycopene and Selenium from the Randomized Clinical Study
Previous Article in Journal
Mblk-1 Transcription Factor Family: Its Roles in Various Animals and Regulation by NOL4 Splice Variants in Mammals
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Serum Metabolomic Profiling Identifies Characterization of Non-Obstructive Azoospermic Men

Department of Urology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
Department of Nephrology, General Hospital of Jinan Military, Jinan 250000, China
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
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
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 238;
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)
PDF [2701 KB, uploaded 25 January 2017]


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

Graphical abstract

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).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top