Background: Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) defined as three or more consecutive spontaneous miscarriages before the 20th week of gestation is caused by different factors including genetic and epigenetic background. However the involvement of paternal background on RPL is an interesting novel argument, which is not well studied. The main focus of the present study was to investigate for the association of paternal methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) epigenotypes with sperm parameters and RPL. Moreover, the frequency of two of MTHFR Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in males was assessed.
Methods: This is a case-control study. Methylation Specific PCR (MSP) was used to evaluate the methylation status of MTHFR promoter on sperm DNA of 25 male partners of RPL and 25 male partners of non-RPL couples. PCR-RFLP method was used to analyze 1,298 A>C (rs1801131) and 677 C>T (rs1801133) polymorphisms.
Results: No significant difference was observed in frequency of methylated MTHFR epigenotype between RPL and non-RPL males. Furthermore, methylated MTHFR epigenotype was more frequent (but not statistically significant) among men with abnormal sperm parameters compared to normal-sperm men. Among studied polymorphisms, only the mutated allele of C677T showed statistically higher prevalence among RPL males.
Conclusions: Although our results do not establish any connection between MTHFR epigenotypes and RPL they do highlight the impact of C677T in the pathology.