Mutagenesis-generated mouse models of human infertility with abnormal sperm.

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Bacterial-Proteins, Calcium-Binding-Proteins, Disease-Models-Animal, Ethylnitrosourea, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Infertility-Male, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Microscopy-Electron-Transmission, Mutagenesis, Phenotype, Spermatozoa

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Hum Reprod 2007 Jan; 22(1):159-66.


BACKGROUND: The aetiology of human male fertility, with impairment of sperm number, motility and morphology (oligoasthenoteratozoospermia), has been difficult to understand, partly for lack of animal models. METHODS: An ethylnitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis strategy has been successful in producing heritable gene mutations with phenotypes similar to human male infertility, and here, we describe three independent ENU-induced mutations that cause a phenotype of oligoasthenoteratozoospermia in mice. RESULTS: The loci identified by these three mutations are designated swm2, repro2 and repro3. All mutant males were characterized by low sperm concentration, poor sperm morphology and negligible motility, but the infertile males were apparently normal in other respects. Sperm from mutant males failed to fertilize oocytes in vitro. Ultrastructural analyses revealed varied abnormalities apparent in both testicular spermatids and epididymal sperm. Genetic mapping placed the swm2 gene on chromosome 7, the repro2 gene on chromosome 5 and the repro3 gene on chromosome 10. CONCLUSION: The single-gene mutations caused complex and non-specific sperm pathologies, a point with important implications for managing cases of human male infertility. The ultimate identification of the loci for the mutations causing these phenotypes will clarify aetiology of complex syndromes of infertility with sperm abnormalities consistent with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.