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Detection of aberrant DNA methylation patterns in sperm of male recurrent spontaneous abortion patients

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2023

Rong-Hua Ma
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai Provincial People’s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China Center for Plateau Medicine Research, Qinghai University, Xining, Qinghai, China
Zhen-Gang Zhang
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai Provincial People’s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China
Yong-Tian Zhang
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai Provincial People’s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China
Sheng-Yan Jian
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai Provincial People’s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China
Bin-Ye Li*
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai Provincial People’s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China
Author for correspondence: Bin-Ye Li, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Qinghai Provincial People’s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, China. E-mail:


Aberrant DNA methylation patterns in sperm are a cause of embryonic failure and infertility, and could be a critical factor contributing to male recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA). The purpose of this study was to reveal the potential effects of sperm DNA methylation levels in patients with male RSA. We compared sperm samples collected from fertile men and oligoasthenospermia patients. Differentially methylated sequences were identified by reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) methods. The DNA methylation levels of the two groups were compared and qRT-PCR was used to validate the expression of genes showing differential methylation. The results indicated that no difference in base distribution was observed between the normal group and the patient group. However, the chromosome methylation in these two groups was markedly different. One site was located on chromosome 8 and measured 150 bp, while the other sites were on chromosomes 9, 10, and X and measured 135 bp, 68 bp, and 136 bp, respectively. In particular, two genes were found to be hypermethylated in these patients, one gene was DYDC2 (placed in the differential methylation region of chromosome 10), and the other gene was NXF3 (located on chromosome X). Expression levels of DYDC2 and NXF3 in the RSA group were significantly lower than those in the normal group (P < 0.05). Collectively, these results demonstrated that changes in DNA methylation might be related to male RSA. Our findings provide important information regarding the potential role of sperm DNA methylation in human development.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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