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Cell Tissue Res. 2009 Aug;337(2):257-67. doi: 10.1007/s00441-009-0814-x. Epub 2009 May 27.

Differential expression of N-Myc downstream regulated gene 2 (NDRG2) in the rat testis during postnatal development.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.


N-Myc downstream regulated gene 2 (NDRG2) is expressed in the testis of adult animals and is involved in cell differentiation and development. However, little is known about the expression pattern of NDRG2 in the testis during postnatal development. Here, we show that NDRG2 is consistently expressed in Leydig cells in the rat testis during postnatal development. However, its expression has also been detected at a high frequency in spermatogenic cells of the seminiferous tubules in young rats but at a much lower frequency in adult rats. Furthermore, high levels of NDRG2 expression have been found in methoxyacetic-acid-induced apoptotic germ cells, particularly at stages X-XIII of the seminiferous epithelium cycle of adult rats. Interestingly, high levels of NDRG2 expression have also been observed in spontaneously apoptotic germ cells in the seminiferous tubules of young and adult rats. Thus, the expression of NDRG2 in germ cells seems to alter during spermatogenesis. These findings suggest that NDRG2 regulates testicular development and spermatogenesis in rats and is involved in the physiological and pathological apoptosis of germ cells.

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