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Fertil Steril. 2005 Jan;83(1):86-94.

Effect of experimental varicocele on the expressions of Notch 1, 2, and 3 in rat testes: an immunohistochemical study.

Author information

1
Department of Histology, Akdeniz University, Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study expressions of Notch receptor isoforms (Notch 1, 2, and 3) in normal and varicocele-induced rat testes to examine their possible functions in cell fate.

DESIGN:

Comparative and controlled study.

SETTING:

Animal Care and Operation Unit, Akdeniz University.

ANIMAL(S):

Wistar male rats for experimental and control groups.

INTERVENTION(S):

The control group underwent a sham operation (n = 6). The experimental groups underwent partial ligation of the renal vein to induce an experimental varicocele and then were killed 9 (n = 6), 11 (n = 6), and 13 (n = 6) weeks after the induction of varicocele.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

All tissues were fixed and routinely processed for paraffin embedding. Subsequent immunohistochemical studies were performed.

RESULT(S):

In the sham-operation rat testes, Leydig cells and elongated spermatids were immunopositive for Notch 1. Notch-2 expression was present in Leydig cells, spermatogonia, and primary spermatocytes. Notch-3 expression was limited to Leydig cells. Varicocele formation diminished the expression of both Notch-1 and Notch-2 receptors as the varicocele formation progressed over time.

CONCLUSION(S):

The present study suggests that Notch 1 is related to the maturation of spermatids. Notch 2 is related to both proliferation and maturation of spermatogenic cells, whereas Notch 3 seems to be related to Leydig cell functions. The decrease of both Notch-1 and Notch-2 expression depended on the degree of varicocele development over time, indicating a potential role in varicocele-associated testicular dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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