Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

European journal of cell biology


Unexplained infertility affects about one-third of infertile couples and is defined as the failure to identify the cause of infertility despite extensive evaluation of the male and female partners. Therefore, there is a need for a multiparametric approach to study sperm function. Recently, we developed a Fluorescence-Based Ratiometric Analysis of Sperm Centrioles (FRAC) assay to determine sperm centriole quality. Here, we perform a pilot study of sperm from 10 fertile men and 10 men in couples with unexplained infertility, using three centriolar biomarkers measured at three sperm locations from two sperm fractions, representing high and low sperm quality. We found that FRAC can identify men from couples with unexplained infertility as the likely source of infertility. Higher quality fractions from 10 fertile individuals were the reference population. All 180 studied FRAC values in the 10 fertile individuals fell within the reference population range. Eleven of the 180 studied FRAC values in the 10 infertile patients were outliers beyond the 95% confidence intervals (P = 0.0008). Three men with unexplained infertility had outlier FRAC values in their higher quality sperm fraction, while four had outlier FRAC values in their lower quality sperm fraction (3/10 and 4/10, P = 0.060 and P = 0.025, respectively), suggesting that these four individuals are infertile due, in part, to centriolar defects. We propose that a larger scale study should be performed to determine the ability of FRAC to identify male factor infertility and its potential contribution to sperm multiparametric analysis.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.