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Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2002;40(2):163-4.

Germ cells with nuclear DNA fragmentation related to apoptotic cells in rat testis in experimental hyperprolactinemia induced by metoclopramide.

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  • 1Department of Histology and Embryology, Pomeranian Academy of Medicine, Szczecin, Poland.


The cells with nuclear DNA fragmentation related to apoptosis were detected by TUNEL technique in the seminiferous epithelium of control rats and of rats with experimental hyperprolactinemia induced by metoclopramide. The percentage of convoluted tubules with apoptotic cells and the number of apoptotic cells (predominantly spermatogonia and spermatocytes) was increased in the experimental group. The results indicated stage-specific germ cell apoptosis. In the experimental group, apoptotic cells were most evident at early (I-IV), middle (VII-VIII) and late (XII-XIV) stages of the seminiferous epithelium cycle, as revealed by light and electron microscopy. We suggest that a decreased concentration of testosterone and an increased concentration of prolactin could disturb spermatogenesis and contribute to the intensive apoptosis of germ cells in rats with hyperprolactinemia. Sertoli cells which have receptors for testosterone and prolactin and play an important role in spermatogenesis and in the initiation of apoptosis in seminiferous epithelium, could mediate such an influence of both hormones.

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