open access

Vol 45, Supp. I (2007)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2008-04-15
Submitted: 2011-12-19
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During seminiferous tubule maturation testosterone and synergistic action of FSH with estradiol support germ cell survival while estradiol alone has pro-apoptotic effect.

Renata Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer, Katarzyna Marchlewsk, Elzbieta Oszukowska, Krzysztof Kula

open access

Vol 45, Supp. I (2007)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2008-04-15
Submitted: 2011-12-19

Abstract

During establishment of spermatogenesis at the prepubertal age, an early germ cells apoptotic wave occurs likely aimed to remove abnormal germ cells and to maintain a proper cell number ratio between maturating germ cells and Sertoli cells. Here we assessed Sertoli and germ cell apoptosis in relation to morphological parameters of Sertoli cell maturation in neonatal rats under the influence of testosterone, estradiol and FSH given alone or in combinations. From postnatal day (PND) 5th to 15th male rats were daily injected with: 1) 2.5 mg of testosterone propionate (TP), or 2) 12.5 microg of 17beta-estradiol benzoate (EB), or 3) TP+EB, or 4) 7.5 IU of human purified FSH (hFSH), or 5) hFSH+EB or solvents (control-C). Autopsy was performed on PND 16th. Sertoli cell nuclei area and incidence of seminiferous tubule lumen formation (LF) were taken as markers of Sertoli cell maturation. Sertoli and germ cell apoptosis was assessed using TUNEL method. In comparison with C, the area of Sertoli cell nuclei was significantly reduced after EB (25.7+/-2.0 vs. 30.9+/-1.6 microm2 for C, p<0.001) and increased after hFSH+EB (33.1+/-2.3 microm2, p<0.05). Incidence of LF was completely arrested by steroid hormone treatments given separately, significantly inhibited after TP+EB (median: 0.0%, vs. 2.0% for C p<0.05) and significantly enhanced after hFSH+EB (median: 51.0%, p<0.001). hFSH alone did not influence LF. Incidence of TUNEL positive Sertoli cells significantly increased after EB (median: 2.9% vs. 0.5% for C, p<0.05) or TP+EB (median: 2.2%, p<0.01) and was not affected by other treatments. Incidence of TUNEL positive germ cells increased significantly after EB alone (median: 4.4% vs. 2.5%, for C, p<0.01 ) and was significantly decreased by hFSH+EB (median: 0.5%, p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: 1) Administration of testosterone or estradiol to immature rats inhibits Sertoli cell maturation. 2) Estradiol stimulates Sertoli and germ cell apoptosis while testosterone has no effect. 3) Testosterone eliminates estradiol--induced germ cell apoptosis when both hormones act in concert. 4) FSH in concert with estradiol, but neither one of the hormone alone, accelerate Sertoli cell differentiation and effectively inhibit germ cell apoptosis. 5) During seminiferous tubule maturation testosterone and the synergistic action of FSH with estradiol support germ cell survival while estradiol alone has an inhibitory, pro-apoptotic effect.

Abstract

During establishment of spermatogenesis at the prepubertal age, an early germ cells apoptotic wave occurs likely aimed to remove abnormal germ cells and to maintain a proper cell number ratio between maturating germ cells and Sertoli cells. Here we assessed Sertoli and germ cell apoptosis in relation to morphological parameters of Sertoli cell maturation in neonatal rats under the influence of testosterone, estradiol and FSH given alone or in combinations. From postnatal day (PND) 5th to 15th male rats were daily injected with: 1) 2.5 mg of testosterone propionate (TP), or 2) 12.5 microg of 17beta-estradiol benzoate (EB), or 3) TP+EB, or 4) 7.5 IU of human purified FSH (hFSH), or 5) hFSH+EB or solvents (control-C). Autopsy was performed on PND 16th. Sertoli cell nuclei area and incidence of seminiferous tubule lumen formation (LF) were taken as markers of Sertoli cell maturation. Sertoli and germ cell apoptosis was assessed using TUNEL method. In comparison with C, the area of Sertoli cell nuclei was significantly reduced after EB (25.7+/-2.0 vs. 30.9+/-1.6 microm2 for C, p<0.001) and increased after hFSH+EB (33.1+/-2.3 microm2, p<0.05). Incidence of LF was completely arrested by steroid hormone treatments given separately, significantly inhibited after TP+EB (median: 0.0%, vs. 2.0% for C p<0.05) and significantly enhanced after hFSH+EB (median: 51.0%, p<0.001). hFSH alone did not influence LF. Incidence of TUNEL positive Sertoli cells significantly increased after EB (median: 2.9% vs. 0.5% for C, p<0.05) or TP+EB (median: 2.2%, p<0.01) and was not affected by other treatments. Incidence of TUNEL positive germ cells increased significantly after EB alone (median: 4.4% vs. 2.5%, for C, p<0.01 ) and was significantly decreased by hFSH+EB (median: 0.5%, p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: 1) Administration of testosterone or estradiol to immature rats inhibits Sertoli cell maturation. 2) Estradiol stimulates Sertoli and germ cell apoptosis while testosterone has no effect. 3) Testosterone eliminates estradiol--induced germ cell apoptosis when both hormones act in concert. 4) FSH in concert with estradiol, but neither one of the hormone alone, accelerate Sertoli cell differentiation and effectively inhibit germ cell apoptosis. 5) During seminiferous tubule maturation testosterone and the synergistic action of FSH with estradiol support germ cell survival while estradiol alone has an inhibitory, pro-apoptotic effect.
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About this article
Title

During seminiferous tubule maturation testosterone and synergistic action of FSH with estradiol support germ cell survival while estradiol alone has pro-apoptotic effect.

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 45, Supp. I (2007)

Pages

59-64

Published online

2008-04-15

Authors

Renata Walczak-Jedrzejowska
Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer
Katarzyna Marchlewsk
Elzbieta Oszukowska
Krzysztof Kula

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