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.Rete Testis: The network of channels formed at the termination of the straight SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES in the mediastinum testis. Rete testis channels drain into the efferent ductules that pass into the caput EPIDIDYMIS.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.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.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.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.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.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.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.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.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.Testicular Diseases: Pathological processes of the TESTIS.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.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.Testicular Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the TESTIS. Germ cell tumors (GERMINOMA) of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms.Sperm Count: A count of SPERM in the ejaculum, expressed as number per milliliter.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Spermatic Cord Torsion: The twisting of the SPERMATIC CORD due to an anatomical abnormality that left the TESTIS mobile and dangling in the SCROTUM. The initial effect of testicular torsion is obstruction of venous return. Depending on the duration and degree of cord rotation, testicular symptoms range from EDEMA to interrupted arterial flow and testicular pain. If blood flow to testis is absent for 4 to 6 h, SPERMATOGENESIS may be permanently lost.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.Germ Cells: The reproductive cells in multicellular organisms at various stages during GAMETOGENESIS.Orchitis: Inflammation of a TESTIS. It has many features of EPIDIDYMITIS, such as swollen SCROTUM; PAIN; PYURIA; and FEVER. It is usually related to infections in the URINARY TRACT, which likely spread to the EPIDIDYMIS and then the TESTIS through either the VAS DEFERENS or the lymphatics of the SPERMATIC CORD.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).Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Scrotum: A cutaneous pouch of skin containing the testicles and spermatic cords.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.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.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.Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Sex Differentiation: The process in developing sex- or gender-specific tissue, organ, or function after SEX DETERMINATION PROCESSES have set the sex of the GONADS. Major areas of sex differentiation occur in the reproductive tract (GENITALIA) and the brain.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.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.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Orchiectomy: The surgical removal of one or both testicles.Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Sex-Determining Region Y Protein: A transcription factor that plays an essential role in the development of the TESTES. It is encoded by a gene on the Y chromosome and contains a specific HMG-BOX DOMAIN that is found within members of the SOX family of transcription factors.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.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)DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Sex Determination Processes: The mechanisms by which the SEX of an individual's GONADS are fixed.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.Gonads: The gamete-producing glands, OVARY or TESTIS.Sertoli Cell Tumor: Gonadal neoplasm composed entirely of SERTOLI CELLS or may have a component of GRANULOSA CELLS. Some of the Sertoli cell tumors produce ESTROGEN or ANDROGENS, but seldom in sufficient quantity to cause clinical symptoms such as FEMINIZATION or masculinization (VIRILISM).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.Orchiopexy: A surgical procedure in which an undescended testicle is sutured inside the SCROTUM in male infants or children to correct CRYPTORCHIDISM. Orchiopexy is also performed to treat TESTICULAR TORSION in adults and adolescents.Dibutyl Phthalate: A plasticizer used in most plastics and found in water, air, soil, plants and animals. It may have some adverse effects with long-term exposure.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.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.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.Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.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.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.Seminoma: A radiosensitive, malignant neoplasm of the testis, thought to be derived from primordial germ cells of the sexually undifferentiated embryonic gonad. There are three variants: classical (typical), the most common type; anaplastic; and spermatocytic. The classical seminoma is composed of fairly well differentiated sheets or cords of uniform polygonal or round cells (seminoma cells), each cell having abundant clear cytoplasm, distinct cell membranes, a centrally placed round nucleus, and one or more nucleoli. In the female, a grossly and histologically identical neoplasm, known as dysgerminoma, occurs. (Dorland, 27th ed)Testicular Hormones: Hormones produced in the testis.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.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.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.Spermatic Cord: Either of a pair of tubular structures formed by DUCTUS DEFERENS; ARTERIES; VEINS; LYMPHATIC VESSELS; and nerves. The spermatic cord extends from the deep inguinal ring through the INGUINAL CANAL to the TESTIS in the SCROTUM.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.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, respectivelySOX9 Transcription Factor: A SOXE transcription factor that plays a critical role in regulating CHONDROGENESIS; OSTEOGENESIS; and male sex determination. Loss of function of the SOX9 transcription factor due to genetic mutations is a cause of CAMPOMELIC DYSPLASIA.Genes, sry: The primary testis-determining gene in mammalians, located on the Y CHROMOSOME. It codes for a high mobility group box transcription factor (TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS) which initiates the development of the TESTES from the embryonic GONADS.Diethylhexyl Phthalate: An ester of phthalic acid. It appears as a light-colored, odorless liquid and is used as a plasticizer for many resins and elastomers.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)
Blood–testis barrier: The blood–testis barrier is a physical barrier between the blood vessels and the seminiferous tubules of the animal testes. The name "blood-testis barrier" is misleading in that it is not a blood-organ barrier in a strict sense, but is formed between Sertoli cells of the seminiferous tubule and as such isolates the further developed stages of germ cells from the blood.Rete tubular ectasia: Rete tubular ectasia is a benign condition, usually found in older men, involving numerous small, tubular cystic structures within the rete testis.Sertoli cell nodule: A Sertoli cell nodule, also Pick's adenoma, testicular tubular adenoma and tubular adenoma of the testis, is a benign proliferation of Sertoli cells that arises in association with cryptorchidism (undescended testis). They are not composed of a clonal cell population, i.CryptorchidismLeydig cell: Leydig cells, also known as interstitial cells of Leydig, are found adjacent to the seminiferous tubules in the testicle. They produce testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH).Spermatid: The spermatid is the haploid male gametid that results from division of secondary spermatocytes. As a result of meiosis, each spermatid contains only half of the genetic material present in the original primary spermatocyte.Spermiogenesis: Spermiogenesis is the final stage of spermatogenesis, which sees the maturation of spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa. The spermatid is more or less circular cell containing a nucleus, Golgi apparatus, centriole and mitochondria.Epididymis: The epididymis (; plural: epididymides or ) is a tube that connects a testicle to a vas deferens in the male reproductive system. It is present in all male reptiles, birds, and mammals.Orchialgia: Orchialgia is long-term pain of the testes. It is considered chronic if it has persisted for more than 3 months.Prenatal testosterone transfer: Prenatal Testosterone Transfer (also known as prenatal androgen transfer or prenatal hormone transfer) refers to the phenomenon in which testosterone synthesized by a developing male fetus transfers to one or more developing fetuses within the womb and influences development. This typically results in the partial masculinization of specific aspects of female behavior, cognition, and morphology, though some studies have found that testosterone transfer can cause an exaggerated masculinization in males.Spermatocyte: Spermatocytes are a type of male gametocyte in animals. They derive from immature germ cells called spermatogonia.Bob ChampionSperm: Sperm is the male reproductive cell and is derived from the Greek word (σπέρμα) sperma (meaning "seed"). In the types of sexual reproduction known as anisogamy and its subtype oogamy, there is a marked difference in the size of the gametes with the smaller one being termed the "male" or sperm cell.Testicular torsionMale infertilityOrchitisScrotal ligament: The scrotal ligament is actually the remnant of gubernaculum in a fetus. This ligament secures the testis to the most inferior portion of the scrotum, tethering it in place and limiting the degree to which the testis can move within the scrotum.Coles PhillipsMature messenger RNA: Mature messenger RNA, often abbreviated as mature mRNA is a eukaryotic RNA transcript that has been spliced and processed and is ready for translation in the course of protein synthesis. Unlike the eukaryotic RNA immediately after transcription known as precursor messenger RNA, it consists exclusively of exons, with all introns removed.Protein primary structure: The primary structure of a peptide or protein is the linear sequence of its amino acid structural units, and partly comprises its overall biomolecular structure. By convention, the primary structure of a protein is reported starting from the amino-terminal (N) end to the carboxyl-terminal (C) end.Symmetry element: A symmetry element is a point of reference about which symmetry operations can take place. In particular, symmetry elements can be centers of inversion, axes of rotation and mirror planes.Low Fertility Cohorts Study: The Low Fertility Cohorts Study, 1978: A Survey of White, Ever-Married Women Belonging to the 1901-1910 United States Birth Cohorts,Data Sharing For Demographic Research consists of personal interviews of white, ever-married women born between July 1, 1900, and June 30, 1910. In 1978, a national survey of 1,049 married women between the ages of 68 and 78 were interviewed between the months of March and July in order to investigate low fertility during the 1920s and 1930s and the women of childbearing age during those decades.Suresh Jayakar: Suresh Dinakar Jayakar (21 September 1937, Bombay-21 January 1988) was an Indian biologist who pioneered in the use of quantitative approaches in genetics and biology.OrchiopexyTrimethylboraneLigation-independent cloning: Ligation-independent cloning (LIC) is a form of molecular cloning that is able to be performed without the use of restriction endonucleases or DNA ligase. This allows genes that have restriction sites to be cloned without worry of chopping up the insert.Hyperactivation: Hyperactivation is a type of sperm motility. Hyperactivated sperm motility is characterised by a high amplitude, asymmetrical beating pattern of the sperm tail (flagellum).Spermatocytic seminomaVaricocelePampiniform venous plexus: The pampiniform plexus is a network of many small veins found in the human male spermatic cord. It is formed by the union of multiple spermatic veins from the back of the testis and tributaries from the epididymis.Ethylhexyl triazoneReproductive toxicity: Reproductive toxicity is a hazard associated with some chemical substances, that they will interfere in some way with normal reproduction; such substances are called reprotoxic. It includes adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in adult males and females, as well as developmental toxicity in the offspring.
(1/10446) Effect of sex difference on the in vitro and in vivo metabolism of aflatoxin B1 by the rat.
Hepatic microsome-catalyzed metabolism of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) to aflatoxin M1 and aflatoxin Q1 and the "metabolic activation" of AFB1 to DNA-alylating metabolite(s) were studied in normal male and female Sprague-Dawley rats, in gonadectomized animals, and in castrated males and normal females treated with testosterone. Microsomes from male animals formed 2 to 5 times more aflatoxin M1, aflatoxin Q1, and DNA-alkylating metabolite(s) than those from females. Castration reduced the metabolism of AFB1 by the microsomes from males by about 50%, whereas ovariectomy had no significant effect on AFB1 metabolism by the microsomes from females. Testosterone treatment (4 mg/rat, 3 times/week for about 6 weeks) of castrated immature males and immature females enhanced the metabolism of AFB1 by their microsomes. A sex difference in the metabolism of AFB1 by liver microsomes was also seen in other strains of rats tested: Wistar, Long-Evans, and Fischer. The activity of kidney microsomes for metabolic activation was 1 to 4% that of the liver activity and was generally lower in microsomes from male rats as compared to those from female rats of Sprague-Dawley, Wistar, and Long-Evans strains. The in vitro results obtained with hepatic microsomes correlated well with the in vivo metabolism of AFB1, in that more AFB1 became bound in vivo to hepatic DNA isolated from male rats and from a female rat treated with testosterone than that isolated from control female rats. These data suggest that the differences in hepatic AFB1 metabolism may be the underlying cause of the sex difference in toxicity and carcinogenicity of AFB1 observed in rats. (+info)
(2/10446) Expression of novel alternatively spliced isoforms of the oct-1 transcription factor.
Analysis of the alternatively spliced isoforms of the human and mouse oct-1 genes, combined with their exon-intron structure, show a high level of evolutionary conservation between these two species. The differential expression of several oct-1 isoforms was examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction performed on the 3' region of the murine oct-1 cDNA. Variations in the relative levels and patterns of expression of the isoforms were found among different tissues. Three novel isoforms originating from the 3'-distal region of oct-1, were isolated and sequenced: Two were derived from testis, and one from myeloma cells. Splicing out of different exons as revealed in the structure of these isoforms results in reading frameshifts that presumably lead to the expression of shortened Oct-1 proteins, with distinct C-terminal tails. Altogether, six out of the eight known murine oct-1 isoforms may have distinct C-termini, implying that these multiple tails have different functional roles in cellular differentiation and physiology. (+info)
(3/10446) Differential regulation of p21waf-1/cip-1 and Mdm2 by etoposide: etoposide inhibits the p53-Mdm2 autoregulatory feedback loop.
The Mdm2 protein is frequently overexpressed in human non-seminomatous germ cell tumours and transitional carcinoma of the bladder where it may contribute to tolerance of wtp53. Mdm2 forms an autoregulatory feedback loop with p53; the Mdm2 gene is responsive to transactivation by p53 and once synthesized the Mdm2 protein terminates the p53 response. We show here that the topoisomerase poison etoposide, like ultra violet irradiation, inhibits Mdm2 synthesis. Cytotoxic concentrations of etoposide (IC90 for > 3 h) result in inhibition of Mdm2 induction at both the RNA and protein level. Rapid apoptosis ensues. Global transcription is not inhibited: p21waf-1/cip1 and GADD45 expression increase in a dose dependent manner. Inhibition of Mdm2 synthesis depends on the continuous presence of etoposide, suggesting the DNA damage may prevent transcription. Downregulation of Mdm2 transcript occurs in cells expressing HPV16-E6 suggesting that inhibition of Mdm2 transcription is p53-independent. When cells are -treated with a pulse (1 h) of etoposide and reincubated in drug free medium, Mdm2 synthesis commences immediately after damage is repaired (3 h) and the p53 response is attenuated. Induction of apoptosis and loss of clonogenicity are 3-5-fold lower under pulse treatment conditions. This is the first observation of inhibition of Mdm2 transcription following treatment with topoisomerase (topo II) poisons, a feature that may be useful in tumour types where p53 is tolerated by overexpression of Mdm2. (+info)
(4/10446) Glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase in ram and stallion epididymal fluids: origin and regulation.
Microsequencing after two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed a major protein, glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS) in the anterior epididymal region fluid of the ram and stallion. In this epididymal region, PGDS was a polymorphic compound with a molecular mass around 30 kDa and a range of pI from 4 to 7. PGDS represented 15% and 8% of the total luminal proteins present in this region in the ram and stallion, respectively. The secretion of the protein as judged by in vitro biosynthesis, and the presence of its mRNA as studied by Northern blot analysis, were limited to the proximal caput epididymidis. Using a specific polyclonal antibody raised against a synthetic peptide, PGDS was found throughout the epididymis, decreasing in concentration toward the cauda region. PGDS was also detected in the testicular fluid and seminal plasma by Western blotting. Castration and efferent duct ligation in the ram led to a decrease in PGDS mRNA and secretion. PGDS mRNA was not detected in the stallion 1 mo after castration, and it was restored by testosterone supplementation. This study showed that PGDS is present in the environment of spermatozoa throughout the male genital tract. Its function in the maturation and/or protection of spermatozoa is unknown. (+info)
(5/10446) Identification of a nuclear localization signal in activin/inhibin betaA subunit; intranuclear betaA in rat spermatogenic cells.
Activin is a dimeric glycoprotein hormone that was initially characterized by its ability to stimulate pituitary FSH secretion and was subsequently recognized as a growth factor with diverse biological functions in a large variety of tissues. In the testis, activin has been implicated in the auto/paracrine regulation of spermatogenesis through its cognate cell membrane receptors on Sertoli and germ cells. In this study we provide evidence for intranuclear activin/inhibin betaA subunit and show its distribution in the rat seminiferous epithelium. We have shown by transient expression in HeLa cells of beta-galactosidase fusion proteins that the betaA subunit precursor contains a functional nuclear localization signal within the lysine-rich sequence corresponding to amino acids 231-244. In all stages of the rat seminiferous epithelial cycle, an intense immunohistochemical staining of nuclear betaA was demonstrated in intermediate or type B spermatogonia or primary spermatocytes in their initial stages of the first meiotic prophase, as well as in pachytene spermatocytes and elongating spermatids primarily in stages IX-XII. In some pachytene spermatocytes, the pattern of betaA immunoreactivity was consistent with the characteristic distribution of pachytene chromosomes. In the nuclei of round spermatids, betaA immunoreactivity was less intense, and in late spermatids it was localized in the residual cytoplasm, suggesting disposal of betaA before spermatozoal maturation. Immunoblot analysis of a protein extract from isolated testicular nuclei revealed a nuclear betaA species with a molecular mass of approximately 24 kDa, which is more than 1.5 times that of the mature activin betaA subunit present in activin dimers. These results suggest that activin/inhibin betaA may elicit its biological functions through two parallel signal transduction pathways, one involving the dimeric molecule and cell surface receptors and the other an alternately processed betaA sequence acting directly within the nucleus. According to our immunohistochemical data, betaA may play a significant role in the regulation of nuclear functions during meiosis and spermiogenesis. (+info)
(6/10446) Prolactin replacement fails to inhibit reactivation of gonadotropin secretion in rams treated with melatonin under long days.
This study tested the hypothesis that prolactin (PRL) inhibits gonadotropin secretion in rams maintained under long days and that treatment with melatonin (s.c. continuous-release implant; MEL-IMP) reactivates the reproductive axis by suppressing PRL secretion. Adult Soay rams were maintained under long days (16L:8D) and received 1) no further treatment (control, C); 2) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and injections of saline/vehicle for the first 8 wk (M); 3) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and exogenous PRL (s.c. 5 mg ovine PRL 3x daily) for the first 8 wk (M+P). The treatment with melatonin induced a rapid increase in the blood concentrations of FSH and testosterone, rapid growth of the testes, an increase in the frequency of LH pulses, and a decrease in the LH response to N-methyl-D,L-aspartic acid. The concomitant treatment with exogenous PRL had no effect on these reproductive responses but caused a significant delay in the timing of the sexual skin color and growth of the winter pelage. These results do not support the hypothesis and suggest that PRL at physiological long-day concentrations, while being totally ineffective as an inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion, acts in the peripheral tissues and skin to maintain summer characteristics. (+info)
(7/10446) Effects of spinal cord injury on spermatogenesis and the expression of messenger ribonucleic acid for Sertoli cell proteins in rat Sertoli cell-enriched testes.
The study was an examination of the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) on spermatogenesis and Sertoli cell functions in adult rats with Sertoli cell-enriched (SCE) testes. The effects of SCI on the seminiferous epithelium were characterized by abnormalities in the remaining spermatogenic cells during the first month after SCI. Three days after SCI, serum testosterone levels were 80% lower, while serum FSH and LH levels were 25% and 50% higher, respectively, than those of sham control SCE rats. At this time, the levels of mRNA for androgen receptor (AR), FSH receptor (FSH-R), and androgen-binding protein (ABP) were normal whereas those for transferrin (Trf) had decreased by 40%. Thereafter, serum testosterone levels increased, but they remained lower than those of the sham control rats 28 days after SCI; and serum FSH and LH levels returned to normal. The levels of mRNA for AR, ABP, and Trf exhibited a biphasic increase 7 days after SCI and remained elevated 28 days after SCI. FSH-R mRNA levels were also elevated 90 days after SCI. Unexpectedly, active spermatogenesis, including qualitatively complete spermatogenesis, persisted in > 40% of the tubules 90 days after SCI. These results suggest that the stem cells and/or undifferentiated spermatogonia in SCE testes are less susceptible to the deleterious effects of SCI than the normal testes and that they were able to proliferate and differentiate after SCI. The presence of elevated levels of mRNA for Sertoli cell FSH-R and AR, as well as of that for the Sertoli cell proteins, in the SCE testes during the chronic stage of SCI suggests a modification of Sertoli cell physiology. Such changes in Sertoli cell functions may provide a beneficial environment for the proliferation of the stem cells and differentiation of postmeiotic cells, thus resulting in the persistence of spermatogenesis in these testes. (+info)
(8/10446) X inactive-specific transcript (Xist) expression and X chromosome inactivation in the preattachment bovine embryo.
Expression of the X inactive-specific transcript (Xist) is thought to be essential for the initiation of X chromosome inactivation and dosage compensation during female embryo development. In the present study, we analyzed the patterns of Xist transcription and the onset of X chromosome inactivation in bovine preattachment embryos. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed the presence of Xist transcripts in all adult female somatic tissues evaluated. In contrast, among the male tissues examined, Xist expression was detected only in testis. No evidence for Xist transcription was observed after a single round of RT-PCR from pools of in vitro-derived embryos at the 2- to 4-cell stage. Xist transcripts were detected as a faint amplicon at the 8-cell stage initially, and consistently thereafter in all stages examined up to and including the expanded blastocyst stage. Xist transcripts, however, were subsequently detected from the 2-cell stage onward after nested RT-PCR. Preferential [3H]thymidine labeling indicative of late replication of one of the X chromosomes was noted in female embryos of different developmental ages as follows: 2 of 7 (28.5%) early blastocysts, 6 of 13 (46.1%) blastocysts, 8 of 11 (72.1%) expanded blastocysts, and 14 of 17 (77.7%) hatched blastocysts. These results suggest that Xist expression precedes the onset of late replication in the bovine embryo, in a pattern compatible with a possible role of bovine Xist in the initiation of X chromosome inactivation. (+info)