Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.Spermatocytes: Male germ cells derived from SPERMATOGONIA. The euploid primary spermatocytes undergo MEIOSIS and give rise to the haploid secondary spermatocytes which in turn give rise to SPERMATIDS.Seminiferous Tubules: The convoluted tubules in the TESTIS where sperm are produced (SPERMATOGENESIS) and conveyed to the RETE TESTIS. Spermatogenic tubules are composed of developing germ cells and the supporting SERTOLI CELLS.Sertoli Cells: Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.Spermatogonia: Euploid male germ cells of an early stage of SPERMATOGENESIS, derived from prespermatogonia. With the onset of puberty, spermatogonia at the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubule proliferate by mitotic then meiotic divisions and give rise to the haploid SPERMATOCYTES.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Infertility, Male: The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.Seminiferous Epithelium: The epithelium lining the seminiferous tubules composed of primary male germ cells (SPERMATOGONIA) and supporting SERTOLI CELLS. As SPERMATOGENESIS proceeds, the developing germ cells migrate toward the lumen. The adluminal compartment, the inner two thirds of the tubules, contains SPERMATOCYTES and the more advanced germ cells.Sperm Count: A count of SPERM in the ejaculum, expressed as number per milliliter.Oligospermia: A condition of suboptimal concentration of SPERMATOZOA in the ejaculated SEMEN to ensure successful FERTILIZATION of an OVUM. In humans, oligospermia is defined as a sperm count below 20 million per milliliter semen.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Azoospermia: A condition of having no sperm present in the ejaculate (SEMEN).Blood-Testis Barrier: A specialized barrier, in the TESTIS, between the interstitial BLOOD compartment and the adluminal compartment of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. The barrier is formed by layers of cells from the VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM of the capillary BLOOD VESSELS, to the SEMINIFEROUS EPITHELIUM of the seminiferous tubules. TIGHT JUNCTIONS form between adjacent SERTOLI CELLS, as well as between the ENDOTHELIAL CELLS.Germ Cells: The reproductive cells in multicellular organisms at various stages during GAMETOGENESIS.Meiosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Contraceptive Agents, Male: Chemical substances or agents with contraceptive activity in males. Use for male contraceptive agents in general or for which there is no specific heading.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Epididymis: The convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the TESTIS. Epididymis consists of the head (caput), the body (corpus), and the tail (cauda). A network of ducts leaving the testis joins into a common epididymal tubule proper which provides the transport, storage, and maturation of SPERMATOZOA.Cryptorchidism: A developmental defect in which a TESTIS or both TESTES failed to descend from high in the ABDOMEN to the bottom of the SCROTUM. Testicular descent is essential to normal SPERMATOGENESIS which requires temperature lower than the BODY TEMPERATURE. Cryptorchidism can be subclassified by the location of the maldescended testis.Spermatogenesis-Blocking Agents: Chemical substances which inhibit the process of spermatozoa formation at either the first stage, in which spermatogonia develop into spermatocytes and then into spermatids, or the second stage, in which spermatids transform into spermatozoa.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Pachytene Stage: The stage in the first meiotic prophase, following ZYGOTENE STAGE, when CROSSING OVER between homologous CHROMOSOMES begins.Sperm Motility: Movement characteristics of SPERMATOZOA in a fresh specimen. It is measured as the percentage of sperms that are moving, and as the percentage of sperms with productive flagellar motion such as rapid, linear, and forward progression.Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Antispermatogenic Agents: Agents, either mechanical or chemical, which destroy spermatozoa in the male genitalia and block spermatogenesis.Chromosomes, Human, Y: The human male sex chromosome, being the differential sex chromosome carried by half the male gametes and none of the female gametes in humans.Testicular Diseases: Pathological processes of the TESTIS.Protamines: A group of simple proteins that yield basic amino acids on hydrolysis and that occur combined with nucleic acid in the sperm of fish. Protamines contain very few kinds of amino acids. Protamine sulfate combines with heparin to form a stable inactive complex; it is used to neutralize the anticoagulant action of heparin in the treatment of heparin overdose. (From Merck Index, 11th ed; Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p692)Sperm Tail: The posterior filiform portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that provides sperm motility.Sperm Maturation: The maturing process of SPERMATOZOA after leaving the testicular SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. Maturation in SPERM MOTILITY and FERTILITY takes place in the EPIDIDYMIS as the sperm migrate from caput epididymis to cauda epididymis.Y Chromosome: The male sex chromosome, being the differential sex chromosome carried by half the male gametes and none of the female gametes in humans and in some other male-heterogametic species in which the homologue of the X chromosome has been retained.Sertoli Cell-Only Syndrome: A type of male infertility in which no germ cells are visible in any of the biopsied SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES (type I) or in which germ cells are present in a minority of tubules (type II). Clinical features include AZOOSPERMIA, normal VIRILIZATION, and normal chromosomal complement.Sperm Head: The anterior portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that contains mainly the nucleus with highly compact CHROMATIN material.Varicocele: A condition characterized by the dilated tortuous veins of the SPERMATIC CORD with a marked left-sided predominance. Adverse effect on male fertility occurs when varicocele leads to an increased scrotal (and testicular) temperature and reduced testicular volume.Meiotic Prophase I: The prophase of the first division of MEIOSIS (in which homologous CHROMOSOME SEGREGATION occurs). It is divided into five stages: leptonema, zygonema, PACHYNEMA, diplonema, and diakinesis.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Acrosome: The cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of SPERM HEAD. Acrosome, derived from LYSOSOMES, is a membrane-bound organelle that contains the required hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg in FERTILIZATION.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Gonadotropins: Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.Seminal Vesicles: A saclike, glandular diverticulum on each ductus deferens in male vertebrates. It is united with the excretory duct and serves for temporary storage of semen. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).Gametogenesis: The process of germ cell development from the primordial GERM CELLS to the mature haploid GAMETES: ova in the female (OOGENESIS) or sperm in the male (SPERMATOGENESIS).Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Inhibins: Glycoproteins that inhibit pituitary FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion. Inhibins are secreted by the Sertoli cells of the testes, the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, the placenta, and other tissues. Inhibins and ACTIVINS are modulators of FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretions; both groups belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, as the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA. Inhibins consist of a disulfide-linked heterodimer with a unique alpha linked to either a beta A or a beta B subunit to form inhibin A or inhibin B, respectivelySemen: The thick, yellowish-white, viscid fluid secretion of male reproductive organs discharged upon ejaculation. In addition to reproductive organ secretions, it contains SPERMATOZOA and their nutrient plasma.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Seminal Plasma Proteins: Proteins found in SEMEN. Major seminal plasma proteins are secretory proteins from the male sex accessory glands, such as the SEMINAL VESICLES and the PROSTATE. They include the seminal vesicle-specific antigen, an ejaculate clotting protein; and the PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN, a protease and an esterase.Genitalia, Male: The male reproductive organs. They are divided into the external organs (PENIS; SCROTUM;and URETHRA) and the internal organs (TESTIS; EPIDIDYMIS; VAS DEFERENS; SEMINAL VESICLES; EJACULATORY DUCTS; PROSTATE; and BULBOURETHRAL GLANDS).Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Haploidy: The chromosomal constitution of cells, in which each type of CHROMOSOME is represented once. Symbol: N.Disorders of Sex Development: In gonochoristic organisms, congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical. Effects from exposure to abnormal levels of GONADAL HORMONES in the maternal environment, or disruption of the function of those hormones by ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS are included.Cyclic AMP Response Element Modulator: Cyclic AMP response element modulator is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor that is regulated by CYCLIC AMP. It plays an important role in SPERMATID development in the mammalian TESTIS.Hypogonadism: Condition resulting from deficient gonadal functions, such as GAMETOGENESIS and the production of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES. It is characterized by delay in GROWTH, germ cell maturation, and development of secondary sex characteristics. Hypogonadism can be due to a deficiency of GONADOTROPINS (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism) or due to primary gonadal failure (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism).Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Androgens: Compounds that interact with ANDROGEN RECEPTORS in target tissues to bring about the effects similar to those of TESTOSTERONE. Depending on the target tissues, androgenic effects can be on SEX DIFFERENTIATION; male reproductive organs, SPERMATOGENESIS; secondary male SEX CHARACTERISTICS; LIBIDO; development of muscle mass, strength, and power.RNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins that bind to RNA molecules. Included here are RIBONUCLEOPROTEINS and other proteins whose function is to bind specifically to RNA.Mice, Inbred C57BLReceptors, FSH: Cell surface proteins that bind FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells.Sex Chromosomes: The homologous chromosomes that are dissimilar in the heterogametic sex. There are the X CHROMOSOME, the Y CHROMOSOME, and the W, Z chromosomes (in animals in which the female is the heterogametic sex (the silkworm moth Bombyx mori, for example)). In such cases the W chromosome is the female-determining and the male is ZZ. (From King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)AnguillaMice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Cyclin A1: A cyclin A subtype primarily found in male GERM CELLS. It may play a role in the passage of SPERMATOCYTES into meiosis I.Semen Analysis: The quality of SEMEN, an indicator of male fertility, can be determined by semen volume, pH, sperm concentration (SPERM COUNT), total sperm number, sperm viability, sperm vigor (SPERM MOTILITY), normal sperm morphology, ACROSOME integrity, and the concentration of WHITE BLOOD CELLS.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Sex Chromosome Disorders of Sex Development: Congenital conditions of atypical sexual development associated with abnormal sex chromosome constitutions including MONOSOMY; TRISOMY; and MOSAICISM.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Fertility Agents, Male: Compounds which increase the capacity of the male to induce conception.Sperm Retrieval: Procedures to obtain viable sperm from the male reproductive tract, including the TESTES, the EPIDIDYMIS, or the VAS DEFERENS.Lepidium: A plant genus of the family BRASSICACEAE growing in Peru mountains. It is the source of maca root.Nuclear Proteins: Proteins found in the nucleus of a cell. Do not confuse with NUCLEOPROTEINS which are proteins conjugated with nucleic acids, that are not necessarily present in the nucleus.Klinefelter Syndrome: A form of male HYPOGONADISM, characterized by the presence of an extra X CHROMOSOME, small TESTES, seminiferous tubule dysgenesis, elevated levels of GONADOTROPINS, low serum TESTOSTERONE, underdeveloped secondary sex characteristics, and male infertility (INFERTILITY, MALE). Patients tend to have long legs and a slim, tall stature. GYNECOMASTIA is present in many of the patients. The classic form has the karyotype 47,XXY. Several karyotype variants include 48,XXYY; 48,XXXY; 49,XXXXY, and mosaic patterns ( 46,XY/47,XXY; 47,XXY/48,XXXY, etc.).Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Organ Specificity: Characteristic restricted to a particular organ of the body, such as a cell type, metabolic response or expression of a particular protein or antigen.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.X Chromosome: The female sex chromosome, being the differential sex chromosome carried by half the male gametes and all female gametes in human and other male-heterogametic species.Acrosin: A trypsin-like enzyme of spermatozoa which is not inhibited by alpha 1 antitrypsin.Vasectomy: Surgical removal of the ductus deferens, or a portion of it. It is done in association with prostatectomy, or to induce infertility. (Dorland, 28th ed)Testicular Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the TESTIS. Germ cell tumors (GERMINOMA) of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Eels: Common name for an order (Anguilliformes) of voracious, elongate, snakelike teleost fishes.Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Phodopus: A genus of hamsters characterized by small size, very short tail, and short, broad feet with hairy soles.Androgen-Binding Protein: Carrier proteins produced in the Sertoli cells of the testis, secreted into the seminiferous tubules, and transported via the efferent ducts to the epididymis. They participate in the transport of androgens. Androgen-binding protein has the same amino acid sequence as SEX HORMONE-BINDING GLOBULIN. They differ by their sites of synthesis and post-translational oligosaccharide modifications.