Idiopathic infertility as a feature of genome instability

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3 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Genome instability may play a role in severe cases of male infertility, with disrupted spermatogenesis being just one manifestation of decreased general health and increased morbidity. Here, we review the data on the association of male infertility with genetic, epigenetic, and environmental alterations, the causes and consequences, and the methods for assessment of genome instability. Male infertility research has provided evidence that spermatogenic defects are often not limited to testicular dysfunction. An increased incidence of urogenital disorders and several types of cancer, as well as overall reduced health (manifested by decreased life expectancy and increased morbidity) have been reported in infertile men. The pathophysiological link between decreased life expectancy and male infertility supports the notion of male infertility being a systemic rather than an isolated condition. It is driven by the accumulation of DNA strand breaks and premature cellular senescence. We have presented extensive data supporting the notion that genome instability can lead to severe male infertility termed “idiopathic oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia.” We have detailed that genome instability in men with oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia (OAT) might depend on several genetic and epigenetic factors such as chromosomal heterogeneity, aneuploidy, micronucleation, dynamic mutations, RT, PIWI/piRNA regulatory pathway, pathogenic allelic variants in repair system genes, DNA methylation, environmental aspects, and lifestyle factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number628
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021


  • DNA breaks
  • Genome instability
  • Male infertility

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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