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Volume 22, Issue 5 (September 2020) 22, 513–518; 10.4103/aja.aja_114_19

Seminal plasma miR-210-3p induces spermatogenic cell apoptosis by activating caspase-3 in patients with varicocele

Ya-Wei Xu1, Ning-Jing Ou1, Yu-Xuan Song1, Xian-Hao Wang1, Jia-Qi Kang1, Yong-Jiao Yang2, Ye-Gang Chen2, Xiao-Qiang Liu1

1 Department of Urology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin 300052, China
2 Department of Urology, Tianjin Institute of Urology, The Second Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin 300211, China

Correspondence: Dr. XQ Liu (xiaoqiangliu0714@126.com) or Dr. YG Chen (xu13132133180@126.com)

Date of Submission 07-Jan-2019 Date of Acceptance 12-Aug-2019 Date of Web Publication 25-Oct-2019


The aim of this study was to investigate the role of seminal plasma miR-210-3p in the impairment of semen quality caused by varicocele. This study included 102 patients whose semen quality was normal when they were diagnosed with varicocele. A 2-year follow-up for included patients was performed, and they were divided into Group A (semen quality became abnormal) and Group B (semen quality remained normal) according to the results of semen analysis during the follow-up. Semen parameters and seminal plasma miR-210-3p expression were investigated by semen analysis and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. In vitro experiments with GC-2 cells were performed to explore the role of miR-210-3p in spermatogenic cells. The results of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed that the level of seminal plasma miR-210-3p in Group A was higher than that in Group B both after 2-year follow-up and when they were diagnosed with varicocele (both P < 0.01). Apoptosis and proliferation assays showed that miR-210-3p induces apoptosis of spermatogenic cells by promoting caspase-3 activation. In conclusion, our study indicated that seminal plasma miR-210-3p induces spermatogenic cell apoptosis by activating caspase-3 in patients with varicocele. Seminal plasma miR-210-3p may be a potential biomarker for predicting impaired semen quality caused by varicocele.

Keywords: biomarker; cleaved caspase-3; miR-210-3p; semen quality; varicocele

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