Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 2431–2438 | Cite as

Glutathione S-transferases gene polymorphisms and risk of male idiopathic infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Xin Li
  • Jinhong Pan
  • Qigui Liu
  • Enqing Xiong
  • Zhiwen Chen
  • Zhansong Zhou
  • Yongping Su
  • Gensheng Lu


The Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) polymorphisms have been implicated in susceptibility to male idiopathic infertility, but study results are still controversial. To investigate the genetic associations between GSTs polymorphisms and risk of male idiopathic infertility, a systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. Meta-analysis was performed by pooling odds ratio (OR) with its corresponding 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) form studies in electronic databases up to March 16, 2012. Glutathione S-transferase M 1 (GSTM1) null genotype, Glutathione S-transferase T 1 (GSTT1) null genotype, and dual null genotype of GSTM1/GSTT1 were analyzed independently. 14 eligible studies with a total of 1,845 idiopathic infertility males and 1,729 controls were included. There were 13 studies on GSTM1 polymorphism, 10 ones on GSTT1 polymorphism and 5 ones on GSTM1-GSTT1 interaction analysis. Meta-analyses of total relevant studies showed GSTM1 null genotype was significantly associated with an increased risk of male idiopathic infertility (OR = 1.40, 95 % CI 1.07–1.84, P OR = 0.015). The GSTM1-GSTT1 interaction analysis showed dual null genotype of GSTM1/GSTT1 was also significantly associated with increased risk of male idiopathic infertility (OR = 1.85, 95 % CI 1.07–3.21, P OR = 0.028). Subgroup analyses by ethnicity showed the associations above were still statistically significant in Caucasians (For GSTM1, OR = 1.51, 95 % CI 1.11–2.05, P OR = 0.009; For GSTM1/GSTT1, OR = 2.10, 95 % CI 1.51–2.91, P OR < 0.001). This meta-analysis suggests GSTM1 null genotype contributes to increased risk of male idiopathic infertility in Caucasians, and males with dual null genotype of GSTM1/GSTT1 are particularly susceptible to developing idiopathic infertility.


Male idiopathic infertility Glutathione S-transferases Polymorphisms Meta-analysis 



This study was supported by Natural Science Foundation Project of CQ CSTC (CSTC, 2010BB5170) and State Key Laboratory Open Project on Trauma, Burn and Combined Injury (SKLKF201007).

Supplementary material

11033_2012_2323_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplemental figure funnel plot for 13 studies investigating the association between GSTM1 null genotype and idiopathic infertility risk (The horizontal and vertical axis correspond to the OR and confidence limits. OR, odds ratio; SE, standard error) (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Li
    • 1
  • Jinhong Pan
    • 1
  • Qigui Liu
    • 2
  • Enqing Xiong
    • 1
  • Zhiwen Chen
    • 1
  • Zhansong Zhou
    • 1
  • Yongping Su
    • 3
  • Gensheng Lu
    • 1
  1. 1.Urologic Institute of PLA, Southwest HospitalThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Department of UrologyKunming General Hospital of PLAKunmingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined InjuryThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina

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