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J Endocrinol. 1993 Feb;136(2):235-43.

FSH and testosterone, alone or in combination, initiate testicular growth and increase the number of spermatogonia and Sertoli cells in a juvenile non-human primate (Macaca mulatta).

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Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.


The present study was designed to investigate the relative contributions of FSH and testosterone in the initiation of testicular growth and function in primates. Four groups (n = 4/group) of juvenile rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), 12-18 months old, were treated with vehicle, a highly purified human FSH preparation (hFSH; Fertinorm, 3 IU/kg per day), testosterone (testosterone enanthate, 125 mg/week) or FSH plus testosterone, for a period of 12 weeks. Compared with vehicle treatment, the administration of hormones significantly (P < 0.05) increased testicular weight and volume, and the diameter of seminiferous tubules. The number of Sertoli cells per tubule cross-section also increased significantly (P < 0.05). Numbers of Ad (dark) spermatogonia (reserve stem cells) were not significantly influenced by any treatment. In contrast, the numbers of Ap (pale) spermatogonia (renewing stem cells) were significantly (P < 0.05) stimulated with hFSH and testosterone alone. Following the combined treatment, numbers of Ap spermatogonia were also higher compared with control but this effect did not attain statistical significance. In half of the animals in both testosterone-treated groups, a few prophase I spermatocytes were present. Inhibin concentrations reached adult levels in hFSH-treated groups but remained unaffected by testosterone. Conversely, testosterone failed to influence inhibin levels and, unlike hFSH, increased testicular androgen concentration and epididymal weights. Our observations suggest that hFSH and testosterone alone are capable of initiating testicular growth and gametogenesis in an immature primate. Both hormones probably act via activation of the proliferation of Ap spermatogonia, which are considered to be renewing stem cells within the testis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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