Male infertility, hormonal action in men
Our research projects involve both clinical and laboratory research on male infertility and male reproductive physiology.
Genetic abnormalities of infertile men. Several genetic abnormalities have been associated with very severe male factor infertility and poor sperm production. One of these abnormalities, micro deletion of the Y chromosome, is detectable using PCR of a series of sequence tagged sites to evaluate the entire Y chromosome, especially intervals 5 and 6. Intervals 5 and 6 appear to be critical hot spots for deletions that may contribute to male infertility. Since the Y chromosome is of paternal origin only, and many of these men will be able to father children with assisted reproductive techniques or other treatment, these genetic abnormalities may now be passed to their male offspring, causing a second generation of infertility. Our laboratory is interested in the evaluation of infertile men for these genetic abnormalities as well as defining what genetic problems actually cause the infertile state.
Reactive oxygen species. We have performed a number of studies to investigate the natural production of free radical scavengers in the male reproductive tract. Additionally, we are very interested in the expression of nitric oxide synthase, which produces the free radical or free radical scavenger, nitric oxide (NO). Preliminary results suggest that nitric oxide synthase expression is associated with apoptosis in the testis.
Clinical studies in male infertility. We have extensive experience with sperm extraction in association with assisted reproductive techniques. This includes treatment of men with obstructive azoospermia as well as men with testicular failure, where inadequate numbers of sperm are produced to be found in the ejaculate, but a few rare sperm can be extracted directly from testicular tissue.