microRNA signature is altered in both human epididymis and seminal microvesicles following vasectomy.

  • Date de publication : 2013-05-20


Belleannée C, Légaré C, Calvo E, Thimon V, Sullivan R. microRNA signature is altered in both human epididymis and seminal microvesicles following vasectomy. Hum. Reprod. 2013;28:1455-67. doi: 10.1093/humrep/det088. PubMed PMID: 23539611.

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adult analysis of variance epididymis gene expression profiling genetic markers humans male micrornas middle aged semen analysis seminal vesicles vasectomy


Does vasectomy impact microRNA (miRNA) expression in the epididymis and seminal microvesicles (SMVs) in a non-reversible manner?The miRNA signature in the epididymis and SMVs is altered by vasectomy and only partially restored after vasovasostomy surgery.Vasectomy modifies the epididymal transcriptome and triggers non-reversible changes that affect sperm function. Some vasovasostomized men experience a reduced fertility outcome.Human epididymides provided by three control donors and three vasectomized donors were collected under artificial circulation through Transplant Quebec (Quebec, QC, Canada). Semen from three normal, three vasectomized and five vasovasostomized donors was provided by the andrology clinic.Epididymides and semen were collected from donors between 26 and 50 years of age with no known pathologies that could potentially affect reproductive function. After RNA extraction, epididymal miRNA profiles were determined by microarray (Affimetrix), compared by ANOVA and confirmed by real-time PCR. The correlation between miRNA and gene expression profiles was investigated by an integrated genomic approach. miRNA signature from purified SMVs was established by microarray.Vasectomy significantly modified the expression of epididymal miRNAs, which were mainly correlated with mRNAs for transcription factors. Vasectomy also impacted the detection of 118 of the miRNAs found in SMVs from normal donors, including miRNAs of epididymal origin contained in epididymosomes. Among seminal miRNAs changes, 52 were reversible according to the expression levels of miRNA in the semen samples from vasovasostomized donors, while 66 were non-reversible.Identification of miRNAs responsive to vasectomy was determined with a limited number of samples due to the low number of human specimen samples available.According to the critical role played by miRNAs in all biological systems, we believe that miRNA changes occurring upstream and downstream of the vasectomy site may be related to the reduced fertility outcome reported following surgically successful vasectomy reversal. This study may provide new tools for predicting vasovasostomy success and open avenues for the identification of the molecular players involved in male infertility.