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Discovered epigenetic changes in sperm related to male infertility

Sperm are highly specialized cells of the body responsible for carrying the genetic message to the progeny to join the female egg.

This should be a highly regulated process to achieve the evolving and maintaining a healthy embryo expression patterns characteristic of our species. Germ cells of men must have a highly specific epigenome to develop this role which really different from the other cells and tissues.

The team led by Manel Esteller, ICREA researcher at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona and director of the Epigenetics Cancer and Biology Program at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), affiliated centres with the HUBc, the health campus of the UB, has produced the first epigenetic map of human sperm DNA and its alterations in diseases. The research has been elaborated jointly by the researchers: Sara Larriba, from the group of Molecular Genetics of Male Infertility at the IDIBELL; Lluís Bassas, from the Andrology Service at the Fundació Puigvert; and Csilla Krausz, from the University of Florence and the Fundació Puigvert. The finding has been published simultaneously this week in two papers in the journal PLoS One.

Universitat de Barcelona

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