Past Issue

Volume 12, Number 3, Oct-Dec 2018, Pages: 229-234

IL-1ɑ C376A Transversion Variant and Risk of Idiopathic Male Infertility in Iranian Men: A Genetic Association Study

Tayyebeh Zamani-Badi, M.Sc, 1, Mohammad Karimian, Ph.D, 2, Abolfazl Azami Tameh, Ph.D, 2, Hossein Nikzad, Ph.D, 2, *,
Gametogenesis Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
Anatomical Sciences Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
*Corresponding Address: P.O.Box: 111/87155 Anatomical Sciences Re- search Center Kashan University of Medical Sciences Qotb-e Ravandi Blvd. 8715988141 Kashan Iran



IL-1α produced by Sertoli cells is considered to act as a growth factor for spermatogonia. In this study, we investigated the association of the C376A polymorphism in IL-1α with male infertility in men referring to the Kashan IVF Center.

Materials and Methods

In this case-control study, 2 ml of blood was collected from 230 fertile and 230 infertile men. After DNA extraction, the C376A variant was genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). In addition, the molecular effects of the C376A transversion were analysed using bioinformatics tools.


A significant association was observed between the homozygous genotype CC with male infertility [odds ratio (OR)=1.97, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.14-3.41, P=0.016)]. Carriers of C (AC+CC) showed a similar risk for male infertility (OR=1.78, 95% CI=1.06-2.99, P=0.030). Also, allelic analysis showed that the C allele is associated with male infertility (OR=1.43, 95% CI=1.09-1.88, P=0.011). In sub-group analysis, we found that the AC genotype is associated with asthenozoospermia (OR=2.38, 95% CI=1.03-5.53, P=0.043). In addition, carriers of C were at high risk for asthenozoospermia (OR=2.25, 95% CI=1.01-4.10, P=0.047). Also, C allele was significantly associated with oligozoospermia (OR=1.44, 95% CI=1.01-2.06, P=0.049) and non-obstructive azoospermia (OR=1.67, 95% CI =1.04-2.68, P=0.034). Finally, in silico analysis showed that the C376A polymorphism could alter splicing especially in the acceptor site.


This is the preliminary report on the association of IL-1α C376A polymorphism with male infertility in the Kashan population. This association shows that the IL-1α gene may be a biomarker for male infertility, and therefore needs additional investigations in future studies to validate this.