The degenerative fate of germ cells not conforming to stage in the pubertal golden hamster testis.
In the golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), pubertal establishment of spermatogenesis includes a defined period (d 26-30 of life) during which elongation of spermatids is selectively arrested. The resulting appearance of germ cell associations not conforming to stage and the phenomenon of desynchronisation-related germ cell degeneration are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively by means of light and 'retrospective' electron microscopy. From d 26 onwards, the portion of tubules containing non-stage conforming germ cell associations gradually increases up to 37.5% of sectioned tubules on d 32. Concomitantly, the degree of desynchronisation rises to a maturational gap between spermatids and associated younger germ cells of 7 stages of the seminiferous epithelium cycle, i.e. of fully half a cycle. Beyond d 32, the frequency of desynchronised tubule segments decreases again. Some of the arrested round spermatids and, eventually, all belatedly elongating spermatids degenerate and are lost from the epithelium. Thus a regular maturation of advanced spermatids does not succeed under non-stage conforming conditions. Possibly it is not the desynchronisation between the associated germ cell generations and the spermatids by itself that impedes normal further development of the latter cells. Instead this may be due to the maturational delay of the stage-aberrant cells by several stages compared to the seminiferous epithelium as a whole and, especially, in relation to the stage-conditioned functional state of the neighbouring Sertoli cells. (+info)
Lack of effects of recombinant human GH on spermatogenesis in the adult cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis).
OBJECTIVE: The effects on male reproductive parameters after 1 year of treatment with recombinant human GH to the cynomolgus monkey were investigated. DESIGN: Twenty-four male cynomolgus monkeys were given daily subcutaneous doses of 0 (vehicle) (n=7), 0.4 (n=5), 2.0 (n=5) and 10.0 (n=7) IU/kg bodyweight for 52 weeks. At completion of the treatment period two control and two high-dose animals were left for a 12-week treatment-free period. METHODS: Before and during the treatment period and during the recovery period, sperm analyses, testicular volume measurements and hormone analyses of prolactin (PRL), LH, FSH, testosterone and IGF-I in serum, and analysis of serum antibodies against human GH were performed. Testicular morphology was monitored by biopsies, predose and on day 15 of the study, and with light microscopy on organ samples collected at time of death, at the end of the treatment, and during recovery periods respectively. RESULTS: Of all studied parameters, alterations were observed only in serum levels of IGF-I and PRL. IGF-I showed a dose-dependent increase throughout the treatment, with a normalisation during the treatment-free period. PRL decreased significantly in animals given 10.0IU/kg per day from week 14 of treatment and throughout the study but with a normalisation upon cessation of treatment. Spermatogenesis, as judged from semen analysis, testicular volume measurements and testicular morphology was not affected. CONCLUSION: This controlled preclinical study demonstrates that high doses of human GH do not alter male reproductive parameters in a non-human primate model. (+info)
Meiotic abnormalities and spermatogenic parameters in severe oligoasthenozoospermia.
The incidence of meiotic abnormalities and their relationship with different spermatogenic parameters was assessed in 103 male patients with presumably idiopathic severe oligoasthenozoospermia (motile sperm concentration < or = 1.5 x 10(6)/ml). Meiosis on testicular biopsies was independently evaluated by two observers. Meiotic patterns included normal meiosis and two meiotic abnormalities, i.e. severe arrest and synaptic anomalies. A normal pattern was found in 64 (62.1%), severe arrest in 21 (20.4%) and synaptic anomalies in 18 (17.5%). The overall rate of meiotic abnormalities was 37.9%. Most (66.7%) meiotic abnormalities occurred in patients with a sperm concentration < or = 1 x 10(6)/ml. In this group, total meiotic abnormalities were found in 57.8% of the patients; of these, 26.7% had synaptic anomalies. When the sperm concentration was < or = 0.5 x 10(6)/ml, synaptic anomalies were detected in 40% of the patients. In patients with increased follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations, total meiotic abnormalities occurred in 54.8% (synaptic anomalies in 22.6%). There were statistically significant differences among the three meiotic patterns in relation to sperm concentration (P < 0.001) and serum FSH concentration (P < 0.05). In the multivariate analysis, sperm concentration < or = 1 x 10(6)/ml and/or FSH concentration > 10 IU/l were the only predictors of meiotic abnormalities. (+info)
Screening methods for thyroid hormone disruptors.
The U.S. Congress has passed legislation requiring the EPA to implement screening tests for identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals. A series of workshops was sponsored by the EPA, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, and the World Wildlife Fund; one workshop focused on screens for chemicals that alter thyroid hormone function and homeostasis. Participants at this meeting identified and examined methods to detect alterations in thyroid hormone synthesis, transport, and catabolism. In addition, some methods to detect chemicals that bind to the thyroid hormone receptors acting as either agonists or antagonists were also identified. Screening methods used in mammals as well as other vertebrate classes were examined. There was a general consensus that all known chemicals which interfere with thyroid hormone function and homeostasis act by either inhibiting synthesis, altering serum transport proteins, or by increasing catabolism of thyroid hormones. There are no direct data to support the assertion that certain environmental chemicals bind and activate the thyroid hormone receptors; further research is indicated. In light of this, screening methods should reflect known mechanisms of action. Most methods examined, albeit useful for mechanistic studies, were thought to be too specific and therefore would not be applicable for broad-based screening. Determination of serum thyroid hormone concentrations following chemical exposure in rodents was thought to be a reasonable initial screen. Concurrent histologic evaluation of the thyroid would strengthen this screen. Similar methods in teleosts may be useful as screens, but would require indicators of tissue production of thyroid hormones. The use of tadpole metamorphosis as a screen may also be useful; however, this method requires validation and standardization prior to use as a broad-based screen. (+info)
Inhibin B plasma concentrations in oligozoospermic subjects before and after therapy with follicle stimulating hormone.
The aim of this study was to investigate inhibin B and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion in a large group of oligozoospermic subjects affected by different degrees of testicular damage, before and after FSH treatment. A total of 135 oligozoospermic subjects (sperm count < 20 x 10(6)/ml) were evaluated for seminal parameters and FSH, luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and inhibin B plasma concentrations. Testicular structure was analysed with bilateral fine needle aspiration cytology. Inhibin B showed an inverse correlation with FSH, no correlation with sperm concentration and a significant relationship with intratesticular spermatid number, demonstrating that testicular spermatids play an important role in the control of inhibin B production. Twenty-five subjects with sperm counts < 10 x 10(6)/ml were treated with FSH; 11 of these had basal FSH and inhibin B plasma concentrations in the normal range (group A), while in seven subjects FSH was elevated (> 7 IU/l) with normal inhibin B (group B), and in seven patients FSH was high and inhibin B reduced (< 80 pg/ml) (group C). During treatment, in group A patients inhibin B plasma concentrations increased significantly after 2, 3 and 4 weeks of FSH administration and declined thereafter to pre-treatment concentrations. Groups B and C did not show any modification during the treatment. In the same period, in group A FSH increased significantly after 2, 3 and 4 weeks and subsequently declined. In groups B and C, FSH increased significantly after 2 weeks and remained elevated during the following period. The results of the present study confirm the significant inverse correlation between inhibin B and FSH plasma concentrations in subjects with disturbed spermatogenesis, and demonstrate that inhibin B reflects Sertoli cell function and their interaction with spermatids. FSH and inhibin B concentrations are an expression of the spermatogenic status of seminiferous tubules. FSH treatment seems to modify inhibin B plasma concentrations only in subjects with normal basal FSH and inhibin B, independently from the effects of this therapy on sperm production. (+info)
Evolution of semen quality in North-eastern Spain: a study in 22,759 infertile men over a 36 year period.
A retrospective study was conducted in a large population to determine whether sperm quality has changed in Northeastern Spain between 1960 and 1996. From a total initial population of 22,759 men, two separate groups were studied: men with spermatozoa (n = 20,411) and those with azoospermia (n = 1364). After adjustment for age and sexual abstinence, multiple linear regression analyses were used to assess changes in semen parameters over time. A 0.2% decline was observed in semen volume in the spermatozoa group (P < 0.001). No significant increase (0.04%) in sperm count (x 10(6)/ml) was observed in the spermatozoa group. There was a 0.4% increase in motile spermatozoa in the spermatozoa group (P < 0.001). There was a statistically significant decline in normal spermatozoa (3.6%) in the spermatozoa group (P < 0.001). Of the total population, 1364 men had azoospermia (6.0%). The changes observed in the semen parameters analysed in this large population showed no evidence of a deteriorating sperm quality, although a statistically significant decline was observed in the percentage of normal spermatozoa. (+info)
Relationship between psychological stress and semen quality among in-vitro fertilization patients.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between psychological stress and semen quality among men undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). We assessed psychological variables, including self-reported stress, and sperm parameters in a group of 40 men undergoing IVF for the first time at a pre-IVF sampling period (T1) and at the time of egg retrieval (T2). Thirty-one patients completed the study. Results indicated that total and motile sperm concentration, total motile spermatozoa, and lateral head displacement decreased significantly from T1 to T2 in a high percentage of participants. In addition, the perceived importance of producing a semen specimen increased significantly (P = 0.001) from T1 to T2, and this change was significantly correlated (P < 0.05) with diminished semen quality at the time of oocyte retrieval. No decline in the semen quality or increase in perceived stress at egg retrieval was observed at T2 in male factor patients (n = 7). This study provides evidence for a significant decline in semen quality of male IVF patients at egg retrieval and demonstrates an inverse relationship between semen quality and specific aspects of psychological stress. (+info)
Comparative evaluation of two density gradient preparations for sperm separation for medically assisted conception.
To evaluate and optimize the sperm separation efficiency of a novel silane-coated silica bead (Puresperm), serial studies were carried out to compare the various sperm parameters between: (i) three-layer (90%-70%-40%) Puresperm and three-layer (90%-70%-40%) conventional polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated silica bead (Percoll) gradients; (ii) three-layer (90%-70%-40%) and two-layer (90%-45%) Puresperm gradients and separately the same for Percoll; and (iii) large (3.0 ml) and small (0.75 ml) semen loading volumes on three-layer Puresperm gradients. Normozoospermic semen samples were treated and analysed in 12 replicates for each experiment. Manual evaluation of concentration, percentage motility, percentage vitality, percentage normal morphology; computer-assisted semen analysis evaluation of concentration, percentage motility, grade of motility, motion characteristics (curvilinear velocity, linearity, amplitude of lateral head velocity, beat cross frequency, percentage hyperactivation); and yields from the initial semen samples were compared. Percoll was found to be superior to Puresperm in concentration, percentage motility, percentage vitality and yields after three-layer density gradient centrifugation. There were no significant differences in sperm parameters between two- and three-layer Percoll gradients, but three-layer Puresperm gradients behaved significantly better than two-layer gradients. Large semen volume loads on three-layer Puresperm gradients resulted in greater sperm concentrations, percentage motility, percentage vitality and percentage normal morphology, but small semen volume loads produced greater yields of good-quality spermatozoa. In the light of Percoll being withdrawn from the shelf for the use of assisted reproduction because of the presence of PVP, three-layer Puresperm gradients with large semen loading volumes appear to be an attractive alternative for sperm separation in medically assisted conception. (+info)