Background: To analyze the correlation of miR-122-5p and occludin with sperm density in oligospermia patients’ sperm.
Methods: The expression of miR-122-5p and its target protein occludin in the sperm and exfoliated cells of semen were studied using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis.
Results: The expression level of miR-122-5p in the sperm and exfoliated cells of patients with oligospermia semen was 0.0880 ± 0.02581 and 0.5110 ± 0.1087, respectively, which were lower than those in the normal sperm (0.7840 ± 0.2318 and 7.000 ± 2.136), and the differences were significant. The expression of occludin in the sperm of patients with oligospermia was 3.725 ± 0.5870, which was significantly higher than that in the normal group (1.055 ± 0.03344). No difference was found in the expression of occludin between sperm and exfoliated cells of patients with oligospermia. The sperm density positively correlated with the expression of miR-122-5p in the sperm and exfoliated cells and negatively correlated with the expression of occludin in the sperm.
Conclusions: The results of the study suggested that the low expression of miR-122-5p might affect the proliferation and differentiation of spermatogenic cells, leading to a decrease in the sperm count. The high expression of occludin also affected the tight junction of spermatogenic cells through testis and led to a decrease in the sperm count.