What is it about?

A considerable number of infertile men have no known mechanism for their infertility. This study aims to examine if there is an association between endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) T-786C, G894T, and 4a/b gene polymorphisms and idiopathic male infertility.

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Why is it important?

Worldwide, about one in 10 couples is infertile and around half of this is due to male factors (WHO, 1999). Because the etiology and pathogenesis are still to be defined, a significant proportion of male infertility is considered idiopathic. Through animal studies conducted recently, hundreds of genes have been found to be related to impaired spermatogenesis and reported as possible pathogenic mechanisms for idiopathic male infertility; however, their human counterparts need to be investigated in infertile patients.


The prevalence of infertility may differ in each race or ethnic group due to the multi-factorial nature of the disease. Moreover, significant discrepancy in the frequency of -786C allele by ethnic group has been demonstrated in a previous meta-analysis of the eNOS genotype and coronary artery disease, in which a lower frequency of homozygosity for the -786C allele was shown among Asians compared to non-Asians (7.6% vs. 32.3%). Therefore our findings might not be applicable to non-Iranian populations. The major advantage of our study is the sample size and even distribution of subjects in case and control groups. What has remained unclear is the plasma and seminal plasma levels of NO in subjects with different eNOS genotypes.

Dr Mohammad Reza Safarinejad
University of Medical Sceices

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) T-786C, G894T, and 4a/b gene polymorphisms in the risk of idiopathic male infertility, Molecular Reproduction and Development, June 2010, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/mrd.21210.
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