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Urol Res. 1998;26(1):17-21.

Involvement of Fas in the apoptosis of mouse germ cells induced by experimental cryptorchidism.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Ehime, Medical School, Japan.


The role of Fas in the apoptosis of testicular germ cells was investigated in BALB/c mice and Fas-deficient lpr/lpr mice. Spontaneous apoptosis of germ cells was observed in the testes of 40-day-old BALB/c mice, and experimentally induced cryptorchidism increased this apoptosis to such an extent that there was a decrease in the weight of the testis. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry using a Fas-specific monoclonal antibody demonstrated expression of Fas on germ cells including spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids. Furthermore, analysis by flow cytometry suggested that Fas expression on germ cells was increased following cryptorchidism. However, spontaneous and cryptorchidism-induced apoptosis of germ cells were also observed in 40-day-old Fas-deficient lpr/lpr mice. Moreover, testis weight also decreased following cryptorchidism in the mutant mice. The present results may indicate that the expression of Fas on germ cells does not correlate with spontaneous apoptosis or apoptosis induced by cryptorchidism. However, on the contrary, this study shows that Fas are partly involved in cryptorchidism-induced apoptosis, because the decrease in testis weight of lpr/lpr mice was less than that in BALB/c mice.

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