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Title: The role of androgens in sertoli cell proliferation and functional maturation: studies in mice with total or Sertoli cell-selective ablation of the androgen receptor
Authors: Tan, Karen A L *
De Gendt, Karel *
Atanassova, Nina
Walker, Marion
Sharpe, Richard M
Saunders, Philippa T K
Denolet, Evi
Verhoeven, Guido # ×
Issue Date: Jun-2005
Series Title: Endocrinology vol:146 issue:6 pages:2674-2683
Abstract: The role of androgens in the proliferation and maturation of Sertoli cells (SC) and the development of their capacity to support spermatogenesis remains poorly understood. We evaluated these functions in complete androgen receptor knockout (ARKO) and SC-selective androgen receptor knockout (SCARKO) mice. Compared with controls, ARKO mice exhibited a progressive reduction in SC number/testis, whereas SCARKOs showed minor changes, suggesting that androgen effects on SC number are not mediated via direct action on SCs. Immunoexpression of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), p27(kip1), GATA-1, and sulfated glycoprotein-2, which changes according to SC maturational status, occurred normally in ARKOs and SCARKOs. Functional capacity of SCs to support spermatogonia was similar in SCARKOs and controls, whereas ARKOs showed reduced capacity with age. SC capacity to support total germ cells revealed major deficits in ARKO and SCARKO adults, particularly with respect to postmeiotic germ cells. Using quantitative RT-PCR, the expression of SC markers was compared in d 50 testes. In ARKOs, expression of Pem, fatty acid binding protein, platelet-derived growth factor-A, and transferrin were all significantly reduced, whereas FSH receptor and AMH were increased. In SCARKOs, there were modest reductions in expression of cystatin-related gene highly expressed in testis and epididymis (cystatin-TE) and claudin-11, whereas expression of Pem, fatty acid binding protein, and platelet-derived growth factor-A was markedly reduced, highlighting these as potentially androgen-regulated SC genes that merit further study. In conclusion, androgen action is not required for maturation-dependent changes in immunoexpression of the SC markers AMH, p27(kip1), GATA-1, and sulfated glycoprotein-2 but is essential for expression of other SC genes, the attainment of normal SC number, and the support of meiotic and postmeiotic germ cell development.
URI: 
ISSN: 0013-7227
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology
* (joint) first author
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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