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MicroRNA expression in infertile men: its alterations and effects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2019

Maryam Kiani
Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, shiraz, Iran
Mohammad Salehi
Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences,Tehran, Iran Department of Biotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Shahid BeheshtiUniversity of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Asghar Mogheiseh
Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, shiraz, Iran
E-mail address:


Infertility is an important reproductive health problem, and male infertility is especially important in more than half of infertility cases. Due to the importance of genetic factors in this condition, analysis of semen alone is not enough to recognize men with idiopathic infertility. A molecular non-invasive investigation is necessary to gain valuable information. Currently, microRNAs (miRNAs) are being used as non-invasive diagnostic biomarkers. miRNAs, single-stranded non-coding RNA molecules, act as post-transcriptional gene silencing regulators either by inhibition or repression of translation. Changes in the regulation of miRNAs have been investigated in several different types of male infertility, therefore the biological role of miRNA and gene targets has been defined. The purpose of this study was to review recent research on the altered expression of miRNA in semen, sperm, and testicular biopsy samples in infertile males with different types of unexplained infertility. Changes in miRNA regulation were investigated using microarray and the miRNA levels were confirmed by real-time qRT-PCR. This review explains why creating a non-invasive diagnostic method for male infertility is necessary and how changes in miRNA expression can be used as new diagnostic biomarkers in patients with differing spermatogenic and histopathologic injury.

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© Cambridge University Press 2019 

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