To describe clinical and histological features observed in the setting of an unusual complex translocation involving three autosomes (9, 13, and 14) identified in an otherwise healthy male referred for infertility consultation.
Materials and methods
The patient was age 30 and no family history was available (adopted). Total azoospermia was confirmed on multiple semen analyses. Peripheral karyotype showed a 46,XY t(9;13;14)(p22:q21.2;p13) genotype; no Y-chromosome microdeletions were identified. Cystic fibrosis screening was negative. Bilateral testis biopsy revealed uniform maturation arrest and peritubular fibrosis.
Formal genetic counseling was obtained and the extant literature reviewed with the couple. Given the low probability of obtaining sperm on testicular biopsy, as well as the high risk of any retrieved sperm having an unbalanced genetic rearrangement, the couple elected to proceed with fertility treatment using anonymous donor sperm for insemination.
Although genes mapped to the Y-chromosome have been established as critical to normal testicular development and spermatogenesis, certain autosomal genes are now also recognized as important in these processes. Here we present clinical evidence to support the Luciani-Guo hypothesis (first advanced in 1984 and refined in 2002), which predicts severe spermatogenic impairment with aberrations involving chromosomes 9, 13, and/or 14, independent of Y-chromosome status. Additional study including fluorescent in situ hybridization and molecular analysis of specific chromosomal regions is needed to characterize more fully the contribution(s) of these autosomes to male testicular development and spermatogenesis.