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Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2005 Mar 7;59:56-67.

[Function of the interleukin-1 gene system in immunomodulation, apoptosis and proliferation in the male gonad].

[Article in Polish]

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Instytut Genetyki Człowieka PAN w Poznaniu.


Spermatogenesis is a phenomenon where two main processes proliferation and apoptosis, meet. Slight changes in their activities could lead to different pathologies, such as fertility disorder (excessive apoptosis) or testicular cancer (overproliferation). The IL-1 gene family includes genes which play important roles in both these processes and consists of IL-1?, IL-1ss, IL-18, the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), two IL-1 receptors (IL-1RI, IL-1RII), the IL-18 receptor (IL-18R?), and the receptor-associated proteins - IL-1RAcP and IL-18Rss. Caspase-1 (ICE - interleukin-1 converting enzyme), directly connected with apoptosis and responsible for the cleavage of IL-1b and IL-18, is also a member of the IL-1 family. The system of the numerous IL-1 receptors and their signal transduction involving protein cascades provokes a range of gene expressions necessary for the initiation and maintenance of inflammatory reaction. In the testis, IL-1 is constitutively expressed, where it creates a unique microenvironment for diploid gametogenic cell conversion into specialized haploid spermatozoa. It may also be an element of the physiological protection from autoimmune attack by host testicular antigens and a part of immune privilege. This review is to summarize the knowledge of the local control of spermatogenesis and immunomodulation in the male gonad. As infertility is one of the main problems of industrialized countries, study of the pathophysiology of the male genital tract appears essential in future clinical practice.

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