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Sertoli cell proliferation in the adult testis is induced by unilateral gonadectomy in African catfish

AutorSchulz, Rüdiger W.; van Dijk, Wytske; Chaves-Pozo, Elena; García-López, Ángel ; França, Luiz R. de
Fecha de publicación15-may-2012
EditorAcademic Press
CitaciónGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology 177(1): 160-167 (2012)
ResumenSurvival and development of male germ cells depends on their close contact with Sertoli cells. In the cystic spermatogenesis found in fish, one germ cell clone, initially a single undifferentiated spermatogonium type A, is enclosed by and accompanied through spermatogenesis by a group of Sertoli cells. Previous work showed that after forming such spermatogenic cysts, Sertoli cells proliferated mainly during the mitotic expansion of the spermatogonial clone in the cyst. Here, we used unilateral gonadectomy (ULG) as experimental model to study Sertoli cell proliferation at the start of cyst development in adult African catfish testis. Four days after surgery, we observed a particularly strong increase in the number of mitotic Sertoli cells along with a significant increase in the number of mitotic single type A spermatogonia. Proliferation of pairs of spermatogonia or of larger germ cell clones, however, did not change. At the same time, pituitary transcript levels of the three gonadotropin-subunits (cga, glycoprotein hormones, alpha polypeptide; fshb, follicle stimulating hormone, beta polypeptide; lhb, luteinizing hormone, beta polypeptide) were not different between sham-operated and ULG males. However, expression of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor gene gnrhr1 was significantly reduced after ULG, and Lh plasma levels were slightly elevated. In the testis remaining after ULG, Fsh receptor (fshr) mRNA levels increased significantly but luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor (lhcgr) mRNA levels did not change. Circulating androgen levels did not differ between groups, but testicular androgen release increased significantly 2- to 3-fold after ULG. Considering the strong steroidogenic potency of Fsh and the expression of the fshr gene by Leydig cells in catfish, we explain the absence of an effect of ULG on circulating androgen levels by an Fshr-mediated, compensatory increase in the steroid production of the remaining testis, perhaps supported in addition by the increased Lh plasma levels. Since Fsh is a major stimulator of mammalian Sertoli cell proliferation, we propose that ULG-induced activation of the Fsh signalling system also promoted Sertoli cell proliferation and ¿ possibly as a consequence of that ¿ proliferation of single type A spermatogonia, providing the basis for an increased spermatogenic capacity.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2012.03.001
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2012.03.001
issn: 0016-6480
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