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Estrogen receptor alpha localization in the testes of men with normal spermatogenesis Estrogen receptor alpha localization in the testes of men with normal spermatogenesis

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Author(s): Eliza Filipiak | Dagmara Suliborska | Maria Laszczynska | Renata Walczak-Jedrzejowska | Elzbieta Oszukowska | Katarzyna Marchlewska | Krzysztof Kula | Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer

Journal: Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
ISSN 0239-8508

Volume: 50;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 340;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: human testis | estrogen receptor alpha | spermatogenesis | Sertoli cell | Leydig cell | immunohistochemistry | morphometry

ABSTRACT
It is known that estrogens act on the male reproductive tract by binding to estrogen receptors (ER) a andb. However, studies on ER localization in the human testis are discordant. The aim of this study was to investigatethe localization of ERa in the testes of adult men with normal spermatogenesis. Semen analysis of ten adult menrevealed azoospermia. FSH, LH and testosterone serum concentrations were within normal values, and the volumeof the testes was normal, hence obstructive azoospermia was suspected. The tissues from testicular surgicalbiopsies were fixed in Bouin’s fluid and embedded in paraffin. Assessments of the seminiferous epithelium (scoring10 to –1), the number of Leydig cells (scoring 1 to 5), the areal fraction of intertubular space (IS), measurementsof seminiferous tubule diameter, and the thickness of the tubular wall, were performed on microscopicsections. Immunohistochemical staining was applied with monoclonal antibodies against ERa. The mean spermatogenesisscore was 10 points; IS — 30.6 ± 8.1%; seminiferous tubule diameter — 193.9 ± 19.4 μm; thickness oftubular wall — 7.44 ± 1.1 μm; number of Leydig cells — 1.6 ± 1.1 points. Immunohistochemical staining showedthe localization of ERa to be in the Sertoli and Leydig cell cytoplasm, while ERa was absent in germ cells. Theresults of testicular tissue analysis confirmed its normal structure and normal, full spermatogenesis. The presenceof ERa in Sertoli and Leydig cells in normal human testis demonstrated in this study suggests that estrogens mayaffect testicular function.It is known that estrogens act on the male reproductive tract by binding to estrogen receptors (ER) a andb. However, studies on ER localization in the human testis are discordant. The aim of this study was to investigatethe localization of ERa in the testes of adult men with normal spermatogenesis. Semen analysis of ten adult menrevealed azoospermia. FSH, LH and testosterone serum concentrations were within normal values, and the volumeof the testes was normal, hence obstructive azoospermia was suspected. The tissues from testicular surgicalbiopsies were fixed in Bouin’s fluid and embedded in paraffin. Assessments of the seminiferous epithelium (scoring10 to –1), the number of Leydig cells (scoring 1 to 5), the areal fraction of intertubular space (IS), measurementsof seminiferous tubule diameter, and the thickness of the tubular wall, were performed on microscopicsections. Immunohistochemical staining was applied with monoclonal antibodies against ERa. The mean spermatogenesisscore was 10 points; IS — 30.6 ± 8.1%; seminiferous tubule diameter — 193.9 ± 19.4 μm; thickness oftubular wall — 7.44 ± 1.1 μm; number of Leydig cells — 1.6 ± 1.1 points. Immunohistochemical staining showedthe localization of ERa to be in the Sertoli and Leydig cell cytoplasm, while ERa was absent in germ cells. Theresults of testicular tissue analysis confirmed its normal structure and normal, full spermatogenesis. The presenceof ERa in Sertoli and Leydig cells in normal human testis demonstrated in this study suggests that estrogens mayaffect testicular function.
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