Restoration of advanced spermatogenic cells in the experimentally regressed rat testis: quantitative relationship to testosterone concentration within the testis

C. A. Awoniyi, R. Santulli, R. L. Sprando, L. L. Ewing, Barry R Zirkin

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Abstract

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 PDS-TE 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-TE-implanted 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1223
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrinology
Volume124
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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