Apoptosis mediated by phosphatidylserine externalization in the elimination of aneuploid germ cells during human spermatogenesis

L. Garcia-Quevedo, J. Blanco, Z. Sarrate, F. Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology. It has been described that aneuploidies trigger cell cycle checkpoints leading to apoptosis. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between the presence of chromosomal abnormalities and apoptosis in germ cells and in Sertoli cells. Fourteen diagnostic testicular biopsies from infertile patients were processed following a sequential methodology, which included enzymatic disaggregation, apoptotic staining, cell sorting, cell fixation, and fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis. The chromosome constitution of germ cells (interphase pre-meiotic germ cells, meiotic figures, post-reductional germ cells, and spermatozoa) and Sertoli cells was evaluated in non-sorted and flow-sorted cell populations (apoptotic and viable). The mean percentage of aneuploidy was compared between the three fractions in each cell type using a Kruskal-Wallis test. If significant results were obtained, a two-by-two Chi-squared test was performed. There were significant differences between the apoptotic fraction and the viable and non-sorted fractions in the pre-meiotic germ cells (p < 0.01). In the remaining cell types, no association between the presence of aneuploidy and apoptotic processes was observed, even in the case of post-reductional germ cells in which we detected the highest rates of aneuploidy regardless of the fraction analyzed. From our data, it can be inferred that most of the aneuploid post-reductional germ cells are efficiently removed from the testicular epithelium without differentiating into spermatozoa. Our results suggest that the elimination of aneuploid testicular epithelial cells is triggered by different mechanisms. Accordingly, the cellular elimination of aneuploid germ cells beyond the blood-testis barrier does not involve phosphatidylserine externalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-898
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • aneuploidy
  • apoptosis
  • FISH
  • germ cells
  • spermatozoa


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