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Low testosterone in ApoE/LDL receptor double-knockout mice is associated with rarefied testicular capillaries together with fewer and smaller Leydig cells

Steinfeld, Kai ; Beyer, Daniela ; Mühlfeld, Christian ; Mietens, Andrea ; Eichner, Gerrit ; Altinkilic, Bora ; Kampschulte, Marian ; Jiang, Qingkui ; Krombach, Gabriele A. ; Linn, Thomas ; Weidner, Wolfgang ; Middendorff, Ralf

Originalveröffentlichung: (2018) Scientific Reports 8(1):5424 doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23631-9
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-145646

Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: Department of Urology, Pediatric Urology and Andrology
Fachgebiet: Medizin
DDC-Sachgruppe: Medizin
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2018
Publikationsdatum: 15.05.2019
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: The testis as a site for atherosclerotic changes has so far attracted little attention. We used the apolipoprotein E (ApoE)/low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor deficient mouse model (KO) for atherosclerosis (20, 40, 60 and 87-week-old) to investigate whether Leydig cells or the capillary network are responsible for reduced serum testosterone levels previously observed in extreme ages of this model. In KO mice, overall testosterone levels were reduced whereas the adrenal gland-specific corticosterone was increased excluding a general defect of steroid hormone production. In addition to micro-CT investigations for bigger vessels, stereology revealed a reduction of capillary length, volume and surface area suggesting capillary rarefaction as a factor for diminished testosterone. Stereological analyses of interstitial cells demonstrated significantly reduced Leydig cell numbers and size. These structural changes in the testis occurred on an inflammatory background revealed by qPCR. Reduced litter size of the KO mice suggests hypo- or infertility as a consequence of the testicular defects. Our data suggest reduced testosterone levels in this atherosclerosis model might be explained by both, rarefication of the capillary network and reduced Leydig cell number and size. Thus, this study calls for specific treatment of male infertility induced by microvascular damage through hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.
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