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The World in Medicine
November 15, 2006

Mitochondria Defect

JAMA. 2006;296(19):2307. doi:10.1001/jama.296.19.2307-b

Research on mice with mutated mitochondria may help explain some cases of infertility among human males (Nakada K et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:15148-15153).

In the study, the researchers created male “mito-mice” with different levels (from less than 10% to more than 80%) of mutant mitochondrial DNA. Mice with more than 70% mutant mitochondria had difficulty undergoing meiosis, the process through which sperm are produced. In addition, the sperm that the animals did produce had increased morphological abnormalities and decreased swimming ability.