open access

Vol 50, No 3 (2012)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2013-10-08
Submitted: 2012-10-08
Accepted: 2012-10-08
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Estrogen receptor alpha localization in the testes of men with normal spermatogenesis

Eliza Filipiak, Dagmara Suliborska, Maria Laszczynska, Renata Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Elzbieta Oszukowska, Katarzyna Marchlewska, Krzysztof Kula, Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer
DOI: 10.5603/FHC.2012.0046
·
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2012;50(3):340-345.

open access

Vol 50, No 3 (2012)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2013-10-08
Submitted: 2012-10-08
Accepted: 2012-10-08

Abstract

It is known that estrogens act on the male reproductive tract by binding to estrogen receptors (ER) a and
b. However, studies on ER localization in the human testis are discordant. The aim of this study was to investigate
the localization of ERa in the testes of adult men with normal spermatogenesis. Semen analysis of ten adult men
revealed azoospermia. FSH, LH and testosterone serum concentrations were within normal values, and the volume
of the testes was normal, hence obstructive azoospermia was suspected. The tissues from testicular surgical
biopsies were fixed in Bouin’s fluid and embedded in paraffin. Assessments of the seminiferous epithelium (scoring
10 to –1), the number of Leydig cells (scoring 1 to 5), the areal fraction of intertubular space (IS), measurements
of seminiferous tubule diameter, and the thickness of the tubular wall, were performed on microscopic
sections. Immunohistochemical staining was applied with monoclonal antibodies against ERa. The mean spermatogenesis
score was 10 points; IS — 30.6 ± 8.1%; seminiferous tubule diameter — 193.9 ± 19.4 μm; thickness of
tubular wall — 7.44 ± 1.1 μm; number of Leydig cells — 1.6 ± 1.1 points. Immunohistochemical staining showed
the localization of ERa to be in the Sertoli and Leydig cell cytoplasm, while ERa was absent in germ cells. The
results of testicular tissue analysis confirmed its normal structure and normal, full spermatogenesis. The presence
of ERa in Sertoli and Leydig cells in normal human testis demonstrated in this study suggests that estrogens may
affect testicular function.

Abstract

It is known that estrogens act on the male reproductive tract by binding to estrogen receptors (ER) a and
b. However, studies on ER localization in the human testis are discordant. The aim of this study was to investigate
the localization of ERa in the testes of adult men with normal spermatogenesis. Semen analysis of ten adult men
revealed azoospermia. FSH, LH and testosterone serum concentrations were within normal values, and the volume
of the testes was normal, hence obstructive azoospermia was suspected. The tissues from testicular surgical
biopsies were fixed in Bouin’s fluid and embedded in paraffin. Assessments of the seminiferous epithelium (scoring
10 to –1), the number of Leydig cells (scoring 1 to 5), the areal fraction of intertubular space (IS), measurements
of seminiferous tubule diameter, and the thickness of the tubular wall, were performed on microscopic
sections. Immunohistochemical staining was applied with monoclonal antibodies against ERa. The mean spermatogenesis
score was 10 points; IS — 30.6 ± 8.1%; seminiferous tubule diameter — 193.9 ± 19.4 μm; thickness of
tubular wall — 7.44 ± 1.1 μm; number of Leydig cells — 1.6 ± 1.1 points. Immunohistochemical staining showed
the localization of ERa to be in the Sertoli and Leydig cell cytoplasm, while ERa was absent in germ cells. The
results of testicular tissue analysis confirmed its normal structure and normal, full spermatogenesis. The presence
of ERa in Sertoli and Leydig cells in normal human testis demonstrated in this study suggests that estrogens may
affect testicular function.
Get Citation

Keywords

human testis, estrogen receptor alpha, spermatogenesis, Sertoli cell, Leydig cell, immunohistochemistry, morphometry

About this article
Title

Estrogen receptor alpha localization in the testes of men with normal spermatogenesis

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 50, No 3 (2012)

Pages

340-345

Published online

2013-10-08

DOI

10.5603/FHC.2012.0046

Bibliographic record

Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2012;50(3):340-345.

Keywords

human testis
estrogen receptor alpha
spermatogenesis
Sertoli cell
Leydig cell
immunohistochemistry
morphometry

Authors

Eliza Filipiak
Dagmara Suliborska
Maria Laszczynska
Renata Walczak-Jedrzejowska
Elzbieta Oszukowska
Katarzyna Marchlewska
Krzysztof Kula
Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer

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