Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have identified a single-measure biomarker in sperm mitochondrial DNA that may predict male reproductive health and pregnancy success.
The discovery applies not just to couples seeking care for infertility but also for the general population. This biomarker could become a more accurate predictor of male infertility than semen parameters, on which health care organizations and clinicians have long relied.
“Clinically, the diagnosis of male infertility really hasn’t changed in decades,” says UMass Amherst environmental epigeneticist Richard Pilsner, corresponding author of the study published today, Oct. 6, in the journal Human Reproduction. “In the last 10 to 20 years, there have been major advances in the understanding of the molecular and cellular functions of sperm, but the clinical diagnosis hasn’t changed or caught up.”
In addition to Pilsner, the team of UMass researchers included lead author Allyson Rosati, who wrote the paper as