Effect of FSH on testicular morphology and spermatogenesis in gonadotrophin-deficient hypogonadal mice lacking androgen receptors.
ABSTRACT FSH and androgen act to stimulate and maintain spermatogenesis. FSH acts directly on the Sertoli cells to stimulate germ cell number and acts indirectly to increase androgen production by the Leydig cells. In order to differentiate between the direct effects of FSH on spermatogenesis and those mediated indirectly through androgen action, we have crossed hypogonadal (hpg) mice, which lack gonadotrophins, with mice lacking androgen receptors (AR) either ubiquitously (ARKO) or specifically on the Sertoli cells (SCARKO). These hpg.ARKO and hpg.SCARKO mice were treated with recombinant FSH for 7 days and testicular morphology and cell numbers were assessed. In untreated hpg and hpg.SCARKO mice, germ cell development was limited and did not progress beyond the pachytene stage. In hpg.ARKO mice, testes were smaller with fewer Sertoli cells and germ cells compared to hpg mice. Treatment with FSH had no effect on Sertoli cell number but significantly increased germ cell numbers in all groups. In hpg mice, FSH increased the numbers of spermatogonia and spermatocytes, and induced round spermatid formation. In hpg.SCARKO and hpg.ARKO mice, in contrast, only spermatogonial and spermatocyte numbers were increased with no formation of spermatids. Leydig cell numbers were increased by FSH in hpg and hpg.SCARKO mice but not in hpg.ARKO mice. Results show that in rodents 1) FSH acts to stimulate spermatogenesis through an increase in spermatogonial number and subsequent entry of these cells into meiosis, 2) FSH has no direct effect on the completion of meiosis and 3) FSH effects on Leydig cell number are mediated through interstitial ARs.
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ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic chemical, has been shown to reduce sperm count; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Herein, we show that oral administration of BPA (2 µg/kg) for consecutive 14 days in adult rats (BPA rats) significantly reduced the sperm count and the number of germ cells compared to controls. The serum levels of testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), as well as the level of GnRH mRNA in BPA rats were lower than those of control rats. Testosterone treatment could partially rescue the reduction of germ cells in BPA rats. Notably, the number of apoptotic germ cells was significantly increased in BPA rats, which was insensitive to testosterone. Furthermore, the levels of Fas, FasL and caspase-3 mRNA in the testicle of BPA rats were increased in comparison with controls. These results indicate that exposure to a low dose of BPA impairs spermatogenesis through decreasing reproductive hormones and activating the Fas/FasL signaling pathway.Journal of biomedical research. 03/2013; 27(2):135-44.
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ABSTRACT: Gonadotropins, interacting with their gonadal receptors, play a key role in sexual development, reproductive functions and metabolism. In this study we performed the genetic analysis of FSHR and LHR and semen investigation in 14 infertile men with normal level of T and elevated levels of FSH and/or LH in the absence of other causes of infertility. Sperm parameters were analysed following WHO (2010) guidelines and sperm morphology by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analysis mathematically elaborated. FSHR and LHR gene mutations have been searched by PCR technique, followed by DHPLC analysis and direct sequencing. In FSHR, we found no difference in the frequency between Ala or Thr at position 307, Ser was at codon 680 in all subjects. Three patients had an heterozygous mutation at codon 419. Three intronic polymorphisms (rs2091787, rs6708637, rs1922464) were significantly found compared to controls; the single allele frequency and the odds ratio were calculated. Two new variants: the Cys338Arg and the Gln123Glu were detected in two different patients. Regarding LHR, three patients were heterozygous for the known variant Glu354Lys and two for Ile374Thr. Intronic polymorphisms were not identified. A new variant, the Val144Ile was found. By the routine semen analysis, variable seminal conditions in this group of patients was observed, on the contrary TEM data mathematically elaborated showed a homogeneous decrease in fertility index and increase in sperm pathologies such as apoptosis and immaturity. The obtained results suggest that a deeper examination of spermatozoa, achieved by the use of more powerful tools such as TEM or molecular analysis, are advisable in patients with hypergonadotropic hypogonadism.Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 07/2013; · 1.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The mechanisms and the mediators relaying Fsh action on testicular functions are poorly understood. Unlike in mammals, in fish both gonadotropins (Fsh and Lh) are able to efficiently stimulate steroidogenesis, likely through a direct interaction with their cognate receptors present on the Leydig cells. In this context, it is crucial to understand if Fsh effects are mediated through the production of steroids. To address this issue we performed transcriptome studies after in vitro incubations of rainbow trout testis explants in the presence of Fsh alone or in combination with trilostane, an inhibitor of Δ4- steroidogenesis. Trilostane significantly reduced or suppressed the response of many genes to Fsh (like wisp1, testis gapdhs, cldn11, inha, vt1 or dmrt1) showing that, in fish, important aspects of Fsh action follow indirect pathways and require the production of Δ4-steroids. What is more, most of the genes regulated by Fsh through steroid mediation were similarly regulated by Lh (and/or androgens). In contrast, the response to Fsh of other genes was not suppressed in the presence of trilostane. These latter included genes encoding for anti-mullerian hormone, midkine a (pleiotrophin related), angiopoietine-related protein, cyclins E1 and G1, hepatocyte growth factor activator, insulin-like growth factor 1b/3. A majority of those genes were preferentially regulated by Fsh, when compared to Lh, suggesting that specific regulatory effects of Fsh did not depend on steroid production. Finally, antagonistic effects between Fsh and steroids were found, in particular for genes encoding key factors of steroidogenesis (star, hsd3b1, cyp11b2-2) or for genes of the Igf system (igf1b/3). Our study provides the first clear evidence that, in fish, Fsh exerts Δ4-steroid-independent regulatory functions on many genes which are highly relevant for the onset of spermatogenesis.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e76684. · 3.73 Impact Factor