Human spermatozoal RNAs

A focused review is presented of the scientific literature pertaining to spermatozoal RNA.

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Toshio Hamatani, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 97, Issue 2 , Pages 275-281



To provide a focused review of the scientific literature pertaining to spermatozoal RNA.


Review of the literature and appraisal of relevant articles.


Not applicable.


Infertile male.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Spermatozoal RNAs as potential epigenetic modifiers in early embryo development and as clinical markers of male infertility.


The nucleus of mature spermatozoa contains a complex population of mRNAs and miRNAs despite its transcriptionally inert state.


A specific set of functional RNAs are delivered into oocytes during fertilization and are thought to contribute extragenomically to early embryonic development. Even if spermatozoal RNAs is merely residual, it still has the potential to greatly improve the investigative and diagnostic potential of male infertility.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.