Dynamics of testicular germ cell apoptosis in normal mice and transgenic mice overexpressing rat androgen-binding protein
Creators: Jeyaraj, D Antony, Grossman, Gail, Petrusz, Peter
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- Date Added: 2012-09-05
- Date Created: 2003-06-12
Abstract The number and type of testicular germ cells undergoing apoptosis in different age groups of mice (from 7 to 360 days of age) was determined and compared in age-matched wild type (WT) control and in a transgenic (TG) mice homozygous to rat androgen binding protein (ABP) using flow cytometry. Flow cytometric quantification revealed that the total number of germ cells undergoing apoptosis did not differ significantly in WT and TG mice up to Day 14. From Day 21 to Day 60, the number of germ cells undergoing apoptosis was consistently higher in TG than in WT mice. Starting from Day 90, the number of germ cells undergoing apoptosis in TG mice was lower than controls until Day 360. In 21–60 days old TG mice, spermatogonia, S-Phase cells, and primary spermatocytes are the cell types undergoing apoptosis at significantly greater numbers than those in WT mice. However, starting from day 60, the total number of spermatids undergoing apoptosis was significantly lower in TG mice than in age-matched WT controls. TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) in testicular sections from TG mice of 21 and 30 days of age confirmed the presence of increased numbers of apoptotic germ cells compared to their age matched controls. These data indicate that the continuous presence of greater than physiological concentrations of ABP in the mouse testis has a biphasic effect on the frequency of apoptosis in germ cells. The initial pre-pubertal increase in testicular germ cell apoptosis may result from direct or indirect actions of ABP and is likely to determine the subsequent life-death balance of germ cell populations in TG mice, whereas the subsequent reduction may result from maturation depletion. A wave of apoptosis during the pre-pubertal period is required for normal spermatogenesis to develop, and our data indicate that this apoptotic wave may be regulated by ABP and/or androgens.