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Endocrinology. 1994 Dec;135(6):2608-14.

Testosterone promotes the conversion of round spermatids between stages VII and VIII of the rat spermatogenic cycle.

Author information

1
Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

Several spermatogenic cell types have been reported to be responsive to testosterone (T) in vivo. We have proposed that the principal action of T is to facilitate the maturation of round to elongated spermatids during spermiogenesis. To identify T-dependent cell types during spermiogenesis, round spermatid populations were counted using stereological techniques in adult rats after T withdrawal and replacement. The number of round spermatids per testis in stages I-III, IV-VI, VII, and VIII of the spermatogenic cycle were determined and, based on the known duration of each stage, the hourly production rates of round spermatid populations calculated. Sprague-Dawley rats received 3 cm T and 0.4 cm estradiol implants (TE treatment) for 11 weeks to suppress LH, testicular T levels, and spermatogenesis. To restore sperm production, high-dose T (24 cm) implants were then given, and animals were perfused 0, 2, 4, and 7 days later. Total testicular T levels were suppressed to 2.9% of control levels by TE treatment and significantly increased (P < 0.05) after 2 days of high-dose T, to remain between 7-12% of control. The hourly production rates of round spermatids between stages I and VII were suppressed to 29-35% of control by TE treatment and remained unchanged by high-dose T administration. Stage VIII round spermatid hourly production rates however, were markedly reduced to 5% of control by TE treatment and increased significantly (P < 0.05) to 27% of control after 4 days of high-dose T. The efficiency of conversion of spermatids through spermiogenesis was estimated from the ratios of the hourly production rates of successive spermatid groups. The conversion of spermatids between stages I-VII of the cycle did not differ from control regardless of the treatment. However, the conversion of round spermatids between stages VII and VIII was markedly suppressed to 16% of control by TE treatment and was then normalized after 4 days of high-dose T administration. We conclude that the conversion of round spermatids between stages VII and VIII is a highly T-dependent step during spermiogenesis.

PMID:
7988449
DOI:
10.1210/endo.135.6.7988449
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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