The present study was designed to examine the effect of hypophy- sectomy and subsequent testosterone administration on germ cell num-bers and germ cell- and Sertoli cell-specific mRNA levels in adult rats. Rats were hypophysectomized and 4 weeks later received 24-cm testos-terone-containing polydimethylsiloxane (PDS) implants. Sham-hypo- physectomized rats received an empty PDS implant. At 0 and 3 days, and at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks, rats were killed. One testis from each rat (n = 4/group) was used to prepare total RNA; the other testis was used to enumerate stage VII-VIII germ cells. cDNA probes for germ cell and Sertoli cell products were used to monitor germ cell- and Sertoli cell- specific mRNAs on Northern blots. Four weeks after hypophysectomy (0 days), preleptotene and pachytene spermatocytes and round and elongating spermatids were reduced in number to 54%, 12%, 1%, and 0%, respectively, of the control values. Testosterone administration caused a time-dependent increase in germ cell numbers; after 8 weeks of testosterone treatment, preleptotene and pachytene spermatocytes and round and elongating spermatids were 75%, 79%, 74%, and 22%, respectively, of control values. Lactate dehydrogenase-C, phosphoglyc- erate kinase-2, protamine-1, and sulfated glycoprotein-2 mRNA levels (on a per μg RNA basis) were 34%, 34%, less than 1%, and 580% of control values, respectively, 4 weeks after hypophysectomy and 79%, 87%, 61%, and 192% of control values, respectively, after 8 weeks of testosterone treatment. Pachytene spermatocyte and round spermatid numbers increased, while Sertoli cell sulfated glycoprotein-2 mRNA levels decreased, with respect to 4 week hypophysectomy values, as early as 3 days after implantation of testosterone capsules. In contrast, germ cell (lactate dehydrogenase-C, phosphoglycerate kinase-2, and protamine-1) mRNA levels increased to the greatest extent between 1-4 weeks after the start of testosterone treatment and, after a short lag period, reflected increases in germ cell type and number. The results indicate that cell-specific mRNAs appear concomitantly with germ cell reappearance in a time-dependent manner in the testes of testosterone- treated hypophysectomized adult rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas