Objective: To provide a focused review of the scientific literature pertaining to spermatozoal RNA. Design: Review of the literature and appraisal of relevant articles. Setting: Not applicable. Patient(s): Infertile male. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Spermatozoal RNAs as potential epigenetic modifiers in early embryo development and as clinical markers of male infertility. Result(s): The nucleus of mature spermatozoa contains a complex population of mRNAs and miRNAs despite its transcriptionally inert state. Conclusion(s): 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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