Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 3 pp 2610—2625

Testicular biopsies microarray analysis reveals circRNAs are involved in the pathogenesis of non-obstructive azoospermia

Hao Bo1,2, , Zhizhong Liu1,3, , Ruiling Tang1, , Guanghui Gong1, , Xingming Wang1, , Han Zhang1, , Fang Zhu1, , Dai Zhou1, , Wenbing Zhu1,2, , Yueqiu Tan1,2, , Liqing Fan1,2, ,

  • 1 Institute of Reproductive and Stem Cell Engineering, School of Basic Medical Science, Central South University, Changsha, China
  • 2 Reproductive and Genetic Hospital of CITIC-Xiangya, Changsha, China
  • 3 Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, China

Received: September 11, 2019       Accepted: January 12, 2020       Published: February 6, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Bo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been reported to be involved in many diseases. But there is no report on circRNAs in non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA). The purpose of this paper is to explore the circular RNA expression profile and potential functions of circRNAs in NOA patients. We first preformed circRNA expression profiling analysis using a circRNA microarray in testicular samples from NOA and obstructive azoospermia (OA) patients. CircRNAs were validated by qRT-PCR. Bioinformatics analysis were used to construct the ceRNA network. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis were performed by using DAVID. Microarray analysis identified 82 differentially expressed circRNAs in NOA specimens. The differential expression of hsa_circRNA_402130, hsa_circRNA_072697, hsa_circRNA_030050, hsa_circRNA_100812 and hsa_circRNA_406168 was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Enrichment analysis revealed the association of hsa_circRNA_402130 and hsa_circRNA_072697 with multiple signaling pathways. The data indicated that circRNAs were significantly dysregulated in NOA specimens and might involve in the pathogenesis of NOA.


ART: assisted reproductive technology; BP: biological processce; ceRNA: competing endogenous RNA; circRNAs: Circular RNAs; FSH: follicle-stimulating hormone; GWAS: genome-wide association analysis; LH: luteinizing hormone; MREs: microRNA response elements; NOA: non-obstructive azoospermia; OA: obstructive azoospermia; qRT-PCR: quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR; T: testosterone.