We examined the effect of exogenously administered testosterone (T) on the quantitative restoration of advanced spermatogenic cells in adult rat testes rendered azoospermic by treating rats with polydimethylsiloxane (PDS) implants of T and estradiol (E). Experimental rats received PDSTE implants for an initial 8-week period; control rats received empty implants. By 8 weeks of PDS-TE treatment, rats became severely oligospermic, and the T concentration within the seminiferous tubule fluid (STF) was reduced approximately 80% (from 57.8 ng/ml in controls to 9.6 ng/ml). After the initial 8-week PDS-TE treatment, PDS-TE implants were removed from one group of rats; a second group of PDS-TE-implanted rats received an additional PDS-T implant of 24 cm. Eight weeks after the removal of PDS-TE implants or the implantation of additional T, testis weight and numbers of advanced spermatogenic cells were restored to those of control rats. the STF T concentration 8 weeks after the removal of PDS-TE implants also was restored to that in control rats. In contrast, the STF T concentration increased to only 40% of control values in the rats that received an additional T implant. Despite this 60% reduction in T concentration compared to the control value, advanced spermatogenic cell number was restored to a value indistinguishable from that of intact controls. These observations indicate that spermatogenesis can be quantitatively restored in PDS-TEimplanted rats with exogenously administered T, and moreover, that this restoration does not require the high T concentration found in the STF of intact control rats.
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