Photoperiod-induced testicular apoptosis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

K. A. Young, G. F. Ball, R. J. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To determine the extent to which testicular regression involves apoptotic cell death, photosensitive adult starlings were photostimulated for up to 9 wk by exposure to long-day (18 h of light) photoperiods. Apoptotic activity in recrudescing and regressing testes was assessed by in situ TUNEL labeling. Absolute testis mass in male starlings increased after 2 wk of photostimulation and subsequently decreased with continued long-day exposure. Seminiferous tubule diameter also increased after 1-3 wk of photostimulation, then decreased as photorefractoriness developed. Testosterone concentrations increased significantly by Week 2 of photostimulation and declined with further light exposure. TUNEL labeling was significantly elevated in germ cells with 4 wk of photostimulation. An approximate 7-fold increase in the degree of apoptotic cell death was observed over the course of gonadal regression. Incidences of TUNEL labeling in somatic Sertoli cells also increased. Light and electron microscopy examination confirmed that these somatic cells displayed morphological characteristics of apoptotic death. In rodents, Sertoli cells have not been previously reported to die during gonadal regression. These results suggest that seasonal testicular regression in European starlings is mediated by apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-713
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Volume64
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Starlings
In Situ Nick-End Labeling
Photoperiod
Sertoli Cells
Apoptosis
Light
Testis
Cell Death
Seminiferous Tubules
Germ Cells
Testosterone
Rodentia
Electron Microscopy
Incidence

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Seasonal reproduction
  • Sertoli cells
  • Steroid hormones
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology

Cite this

Young, K. A., Ball, G. F., & Nelson, R. J. (2001). Photoperiod-induced testicular apoptosis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Biology of Reproduction, 64(2), 706-713.

Photoperiod-induced testicular apoptosis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). / Young, K. A.; Ball, G. F.; Nelson, R. J.

In: Biology of Reproduction, Vol. 64, No. 2, 2001, p. 706-713.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Young, KA, Ball, GF & Nelson, RJ 2001, 'Photoperiod-induced testicular apoptosis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)', Biology of Reproduction, vol. 64, no. 2, pp. 706-713.
Young, K. A. ; Ball, G. F. ; Nelson, R. J. / Photoperiod-induced testicular apoptosis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). In: Biology of Reproduction. 2001 ; Vol. 64, No. 2. pp. 706-713.
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