Morphometric and cytogenetic characteristics of testicular germ cells and Sertoli cell secretory function in men with non-mosaic Klinefelter's syndrome.Hum Reprod. 2002 Apr; 17(4):886-96.HR
Klinefelter's syndrome is the most frequent chromosomal abnormality in infertile men. In this study, the chromosomes of round spermatids and spermatogonia/primary spermatocytes from men with non-mosaic Klinefelter's syndrome were examined, together with the Sertoli cell secretory function and sperm morphometry.
Twenty-four men with non-mosaic Klinefelter's syndrome and nine men with obstructive azoospermia underwent therapeutic testicular biopsy. When spermatozoa in the final filtrate were present, they were processed for sperm morphometry or ICSI. Sperm morphometry was evaluated by the maximal length and width of the sperm head, the length of the midpiece and the ratio of the acrosomal region to the total surface area of the head. When round spermatids were present, they were processed for fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH). FISH was also applied to fragments of seminiferous tubules. Sertoli cell secretory function was measured by the amount of androgen binding protein (ABP) secreted in vitro.
More than 93% of the evaluated round spermatids were normal. The proportions of 24,XY and of 24,XX round spermatids to the total number were significantly larger in men with Klinefelter's syndrome than in obstructed azoospermic men. Men with Klinefelter's syndrome who had spermatozoa in their testicular tissue (n = 12) were positive for both 46,XY and 47,XXY spermatogonia in their seminiferous tubules. In contrast, men with Klinefelter's syndrome without spermatozoa in their testicular tissue (n = 12) were positive for 47,XXY spermatogonia but negative for 46,XY spermatogonia in their seminiferous tubules. ABP profiles were significantly smaller in men with Klinefelter's syndrome who were negative for spermatozoa compared with men who were positive. Four pregnancies were achieved and five healthy babies were born.
This study suggests that few 46,XXY spermatogonia undergo meiosis with an XX pairing and a Y univalent type of pairing. Hyperhaploid round spermatids (24,XY and 24,XX) may be produced by meiosis of 47,XXY spermatogonia. Men with Klinefelter's syndrome who are negative for testicular spermatozoa have a greater degree of Sertoli cell secretory dysfunction compared with men with Klinefelter's syndrome who are positive for spermatozoa. There are several defects in sperm morphometry with functional significance in men with Klinefelter's syndrome.