Ultrastructural findings in murine seminiferous tubules as a consequence of subchronic vanadium pentoxide inhalation.
ABSTRACT Vanadium (V) is a transition metal emitted to the atmosphere during the combustion of fossil fuels. Its current status as an atmospheric pollutant increases the need for information about the effects that this element might have on the reproductive health of exposed populations. The present study investigated changes in testicular ultrastructure following inhalation exposure of male mice to V (as vanadium pentoxide). Tissue V level was constant during the 12-week time period. We observed necrosis of spermatogonium, spermatocytes and Sertoli cells, as well as pseudo-nuclear inclusion and disruption of cellular junctions. Our findings stressed the importance of the hemato-testicular barrier in supporting the function of Sertoli cells and suggest as a possible target of V, tight junction proteins. Further analysis is needed in order to identify the role that reactive oxidative species (ROS) might have on these cellular junctions, and if a specific protein is the target of its toxic effects. The relevance of this report concerns the impact that metal air pollution could have on male fertility in dense cities with vehicular traffic problems.
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ABSTRACT: In the mammalian testis, preleptotene and leptotene spermatocytes residing in the basal compartment of the seminiferous epithelium must traverse the blood-testis barrier (BTB) at late stage VIII through early stage IX of the epithelial cycle during spermatogenesis, entering the adluminal compartment for further development. However, until recently the regulatory mechanisms that regulate BTB dynamics remained largely unknown. We provide a critical review regarding the significance of cytokines in regulating the 'opening' and 'closing' of the BTB. We also discuss how cytokines may be working in concert with adaptors that selectively govern the downstream signaling pathways. This process, in turn, regulates the dynamics of either Sertoli-Sertoli tight junction (TJ), Sertoli-germ cell adherens junction (AJ), or both junction types in the epithelium, thereby permitting TJ opening without compromising AJs, and vice versa. We also discuss how adaptors alter their protein-protein association with the integral membrane proteins at the cell-cell interface via changes in their phosphorylation status, thereby altering adhesion function at AJ. These findings illustrate that the testis is a novel in vivo model to study the biology of junction restructuring. Furthermore, a molecular model is presented regarding how cytokines selectively regulate TJ/AJ restructuring in the epithelium during spermatogenesis.Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews 01/2005; 16(4-5):469-93. · 8.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The dynamic nature of cellular interactions during differentiation of germ cells and their translocation from the basement membrane to the lumen of the seminiferous tubules requires the existence of complex and well-regulated cellular adhesion mechanisms in the testis. Successful migration of the developing germ cells is characterized by dynamic breakage and reformation of cadherin-containing adherens junctions between the germ cells and Sertoli cells, the polarized somatic cells of the testis that support and nourish the developing gametes. Here, we demonstrate the accumulation of abnormally swollen, actin-coated, endosome-like structures that contain intact adherens junctions and stain positive for N-cadherin and beta-catenin in the Sertoli cell cytosol of mice deficient in Inpp5b, an inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase. Simultaneous to the formation of these abnormal structures, developing germ cells are prematurely released from the seminiferous epithelium and sloughed into the epididymis. Our results demonstrate a role for Inpp5b in the regulation of cell adhesion in the testis and in the formation of junctional complexes with neighboring cells, and they emphasize the important and essential role of phosphoinositides in spermatogenesis.Biology of Reproduction 06/2002; 66(5):1522-30. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The reproductive toxicity of vanadium was studied in mice. Male Swiss mice were exposed to sodium metavanadate at doses of 0, 20, 40, 60, and 80 mg/kg per day given in the drinking water for 64 days. To evaluate the fertility of the vanadium-treated animals, males were mated with untreated females for 4 days. A significant decrease in the pregnancy rate was observed at 60 and 80 mg/kg per day of sodium. metavanadate. However, metavanadate did not reduce fertility in male mice at 20 and 40 mg/kg per day. Reproductive toxicity was measured by sperm count, sperm motility, organ weights, and histologic evaluation of the testes. Decreased body and epididymis weight was only observed in the 80 mg/kg per day group, while testicular weights were not altered by the treatment with all doses used. Sperm count was significantly decreased at 40, 60, and 80 mg/kg per day, but the sperm motility was unaffected. Histopathological examination revealed that the testes were normal and that the epididymis of treated male mice contained normal appearing sperm. The no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was 40 mg/kg per day. Consequently, vanadium would not cause any adverse effect on fertility or testicular function in male mice at the concentrations usually ingested by humans through the diet and drinking water.Toxicology 07/1993; 80(2-3):199-206. · 4.02 Impact Factor