ABSTRACT: To confirm that transient increase in temperature of the testis (43C for 30 minutes once daily for 2 consecutive days) could induce apoptosis of germ cells in non-human primates and to investigate the possible roles of Hsp105 and Hsp60 in regulation of germ cell loss, we conducted the study on eight cynomolgus monkeys. The sperm concentration on day 28 after heat shock decreased to 8.4% of pretreatment levels and recovered to baseline on day 144. Using the TUNEL assay, increased numbers of apoptotic spermatocytes and round spermatids were detected on days 3, 8, and 30 post heat treatment. Hsp105 and Hsp60 mRNA and protein levels were analyzed using in situ hybridization, RT-PCR, immunohistochemical and Western blot methods. Hsp105 was confined to nuclei of spermatids before treatment, decreased dramatically with the loss of spermatids on days 3, 8, and 30, before returning to baseline levels on days 84 and 144. The expression of Hsp60 was high on days 3, 8, 30 and was only detected in Sertoli cells and spermatogonia. These results suggested that exposure of the testis to heat resulted in selective, but reversible damage to the seminiferous epithelium via increased germ cell apoptosis. Temporal changes in the expression pattern of Hsp105 and Hsp60 in relation to germ cell death suggests they may be involved in key processes in regulation of germ cell apoptosis.
Frontiers in Bioscience 02/2005; 10:3110-21. · 3.52 Impact Factor