View graph of relations

The most common human sex chromosomal disorder is Klinefelter syndrome (KS; 47,XXY). Adult patients with KS display a diverse phenotype but are nearly always infertile, due to testicular degeneration at puberty. To identify mechanisms causing the selective destruction of the seminiferous epithelium, we performed RNA-sequencing of 24 fixed paraffin-embedded testicular tissue samples. Analysis of informative transcriptomes revealed 235 differentially expressed transcripts (DETs) in the adult KS testis showing enrichment of long non-coding RNAs, but surprisingly not of X-chromosomal transcripts. Comparison to 46,XY samples with complete spermatogenesis and Sertoli cell-only-syndrome allowed prediction of the cellular origin of 71 of the DETs. DACH2 and FAM9A were validated by immunohistochemistry and found to mark apparently undifferentiated somatic cell populations in the KS testes. Moreover, transcriptomes from fetal, pre-pubertal, and adult KS testes showed a limited overlap, indicating that different mechanisms are likely to operate at each developmental stage. Based on our data, we propose that testicular degeneration in men with KS is a consequence of germ cells loss initiated during early development in combination with disturbed maturation of Sertoli- and Leydig cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number671
JournalCell Death & Disease
Issue number6
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any mediumor format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if
changesweremade. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 0
Download as:
Download as PDF
Select render style:
Download as HTML
Select render style:
Download as Word
Select render style:

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 149814633