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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effects of FSH and of testosterone on the completion of meiosis and the very early steps of spermiogenesis of the rat: an in vitro study.

The role of FSH and of testosterone in spermatogenesis has been a matter of controversy. In the present study, we addressed the involvement of these hormones in the regulation of the completion of meiosis of male rats under in vitro conditions. In the first series of experiments, middle/late pachytene spermatocytes were cocultured with Sertoli cells for 2 weeks in the absence or presence of FSH and/or testosterone. Treatment with both FSH and testosterone reduced slightly the percentage of apoptotic germinal cells in the cultures. Moreover, the number of round spermatids formed in vitro was enhanced by FSH or testosterone when compared with control cultures. Neither hormone influenced the half-life of round spermatids under the present culture conditions. The amounts of TP1 mRNAs in FSH- or FSH plus testosterone-treated cultures were higher than those of controls. In another series of experiments, round spermatids were incubated for 24 h in media conditioned by Sertoli cells cultured in the absence or presence of FSH and/or testosterone. TP1 mRNA contents of round spermatids incubated in media from Sertoli cells cultured in the presence of FSH and/or testosterone were two- to threefold higher than those of spermatids incubated in media from Sertoli cells cultured without hormones. These results indicate that FSH and testosterone have positive and somewhat overlapping effects on the meiotic divisions and the post-meiotic expression of a germ cell-specific gene, effects which cannot be related solely to their ability to reduce germinal cell apoptosis. Use of this culture system should help to test the effect of any hormone or factor on those steps in order to understand better their regulation.[1]


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