Leydig cell apoptosis in the rat testes after administration of the cytotoxin ethane dimethanesulphonate: role of the Bcl-2 family members

Matthew F. Taylor, Ian Woolveridge, Anthony Metcalfe, C.H. Streuli, J.A. Hickman, Ian D. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ethane dimethanesulphonate (EDS) is cytotoxic to Leydig cells in the adult rat. To investigate the role and regulation of apoptosis in the Leydig cell, EDS (100 mg/kg i.p.) was administered to adult male rats and the testes examined 6, 12, 18, 24, 48 and 72 h later. Numbers of Leydig cells, identified by 3 started to fall by 12 h after EDS injection and were almost undetectable by 72 h. Apoptotic cells in the interstitium, visualised by increased in number to reach a maximum 24 h after injection of EDS, and were undetectable by 72 h. In many tissues the apoptosis-related gene products act in cohort: Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl promoting survival of a cell, whilst Bax promotes cell death often positively regulated by the tumour-suppressor gene p53. Western blot analysis showed that: (1) Bcl-2 and p53 were absent from interstitial Leydig cells but were expressed in the seminiferous tubules. (2) Bax protein although expressed in the interstitium was not present in the Leydig cells. (3) Bcl-xl in Leydig cells was transiently increased after EDS. In conclusion, EDS kills Leydig cells by apoptosis; however the control of Leydig cell death does not involve p53 or the Bcl-2 family members but may require other gene products yet to be identified.â-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase immunohistochemistryin situ end labelling of DNA,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Volume157
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 1998

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