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

Increased expression of Leydig cell haem oxygenase-1 preserves spermatogenesis in varicocele.

BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of testicular disorders. Haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) plays an important cytoprotective role against oxidative stress. We investigated the presence of oxidative stress, represented by generation of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE)-modified proteins, and expression of HO-1 in varicocele testes of human. METHODS: Thirty testicular biopsies from patients with left varicocele and 10 from patients with normal spermatogenesis were included. Generation of 4-HNE-modified proteins was examined as a marker of oxidative stress. Expression of HO-1 was assessed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The expression was compared with clinico-pathological parameters. RESULTS: Increased generation of 4-HNE-modified proteins was observed in varicocele testes. HO-1 expression was significantly correlated with varicocele grade (P < 0.01 in grade 2 and 3 compared to control) and expression of 4-HNE-modified proteins (r = 0.508, P < 0.01). The immunoreactivity was increased in Leydig cells in varicocele testes. There were significant correlations between age, total motile sperm count, Johnsen's mean score and HO-1:4-HNE-modified protein ratio (r = 0.206, 0.405 and 0.408, P = 0.027, 0.027 and 0.025 respectively). CONCLUSIONS: In testes with varicocele, there are increases in 4-HNE-modified proteins, suggesting that oxidative stress is present. Increased HO-1 expression, mainly in Leydig cells, is considered to protect the cells against oxidative stresses in varicocele testes.[1]


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