Cadherin and vimentin immunoexpression in the testis of normal and induced infertility models of albino rats.

ElGhamrawy, T. A., D. Helmy, and H. F. A. Elall, "Cadherin and vimentin immunoexpression in the testis of normal and induced infertility models of albino rats.", Folia morphologica, vol. 73, issue 3, pp. 339-46, 2014.


BACKGROUND: Sertoli cells are important in determining the fate of spermatogenic cells by providing nutrition and structural support via cell junctions. Adhesion between Sertoli and germ cells is important for spermatogenesis. Cadherin are transmembrane proteins that mediate cell-cell adhesion, while, vimentin, the cytoskeletal intermediate filament plays an important role in spermatogenesis. The aim of the present study was to investigate cadherin and vimentin immunoexpression in the normal testis and in two types of altered spermatogenic states: the cyclophosphamide (CP) treatment and the cryptorchidism (Cx) models.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty four male albino rats were divided into control group: 6 rats receiving saline orally and the other 6 were sham-operated. CP group (n = 6): given 6 mg/kg/day of CP orally for 4 weeks. Cx group (n = 6): the left testis was surgically freed from the scrotum and fixed in the abdomen. Animals were sacrificed and the left testis dissected and prepared to be stained with haematoxylin and eosin stain and immunohistochemical stain against cadherin and vimentin. Morphometric measurements and statistical analysis were done.

RESULTS: In CP-treated group there was degeneration of spermatocytes, vacuolations of Sertoli cells and absence of spermatozoa. These changes were more prominent in Cx group, in addition to interstitial hypercellularity. There was alsoa significant decrease in cadherin and vimentin immunostaining in CP-treated group that was more marked in the cryptorchidism group.

CONCLUSIONS: A downregulation of both cadherin and vimentin was associated with both models of impaired spermatogenesis. This impairment could be attributed to disruption of the junctions between Sertoli and germ cells.