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J Formos Med Assoc. 2017 Jul;116(7):542-548. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Oct 2.

Aberrant expressions of stem cell factor/c-KIT in rat testis with varicocele.

Author information

1
Central Laboratory, Shanxi Provincial People's Hospital, Affiliate of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.
2
Central Laboratory, Shanxi Provincial People's Hospital, Affiliate of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China; Reproductive Medical Department, Shanxi Provincial People's Hospital, Affiliate of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China. Electronic address: liujianrong3@sina.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Varicocele (VC) is considered by the World Health Organization as the main cause of male infertility. Studies have shown that VC can affect spermatogenesis and then result in male infertility. But the exact mechanism by which VC affects spermatogenesis is still unclear. Stem cell factor (SCF) and c-KIT receptor are crucial molecules during spermatogenesis in testis. This study aims to investigate whether SCF/c-KIT signaling is involved in the pathophysiology of VC on spermatogenesis.

METHODS:

Rat models of VC were built (n = 13), and sham-operated rats were used as controls (n = 8). The seminiferous tubules of the testis were observed with hematoxylin and eosin staining, expression of SCF was analyzed via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot, and expression of c-KIT was assessed with Western blot and immunofluorescence.

RESULTS:

Compared with controls, the seminiferous epithelium was disorganized and had significantly fewer cells in the testes of rats with VC. Expression of SCF increased in testes of VC rats, while expression of c-KIT was decreased.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that sperm counts in seminiferous epithelium are affected by VC, and the SCF/c-KIT system is aberrantly expressed in VC testis, which could be involved in male infertility caused by VC.

KEYWORDS:

c-KIT; male infertility; spermatogenesis; stem cell factor; varicocele

PMID:
27707610
DOI:
10.1016/j.jfma.2016.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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