In the evaluation of infertile men genomic and proteomic approaches are widely used as screening tools. On the other hand, metabolomics is a new technology which was implemented in this field very recently. It is defined as the quantitative measurement of the metabolic response of an organism, cell, or tissue to pathophysiological stimuli or genetic modification.
Using metabolomics approach a group of researcher from China identified several major changed metabolic pathways related to unexplained male infertility cases. Their findings will surely provide new perspective for the identification of underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. According to the reported data 153 seminal plasmatic metabolites were identified being able to distinguish 82% of the men with unexplained infertility from healthy controls with a specificity of 92%. Metabolic feature of these patients was mainly disturbed amino acid metabolism and these changed amino acids might play roles in male reproduction. In fact there were significant relationships between the concentrations of seminal plasmatic metabolites and seminal quality parameters.
The researchers indicate that their findings implement new potential diagnostic biomarkers in the evaluation of infertile men and may improve the current treatment and future clinical practice of assisted reproductive technology.
Source: Qiao S, Wu W, Chen M, Tang Q, Xia Y, Jia W, et al. (2017) Seminal plasma metabolomics approach for the diagnosis of unexplained male infertility. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0181115. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181115
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