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Welter H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Huber A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Lauf S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Einwang D.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 4 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2014

We observed that peritubular myoid cells in the human testis are immunoreactive for angiotensin II (AngII) receptors (AT1R) and explored AngII actions in cultured human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs). In response to AngII they contracted within minutes. The AT1R-blocker losartan blocked contraction, implying involvement of AngII and AT1R in intratesticular sperm transport. AngII also significantly increased IL-6 mRNA levels and IL-6 secretion within hours and losartan again prevented this action. This suggests involvement in inflammatory processes, which may play a role in male infertility. AngII can be generated locally by mast cell (MC)-derived chymase (CHY), which cleaves AngI. In testicular biopsies from infertile men we found abundant MCs, which express CHY, within the wall of seminiferous tubules. In contrast, CHY-positive MCs are hardly found in normal human testis. Testicular inflammatory events may fuel processes resulting in impaired spermatogenesis. Therefore therapeutic interference with MCs, CHY or AT1R might be novel options in male infertility. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Sandner F.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Welter H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schwarzer J.U.,Andrologie Centrum Munich | Kohn F.M.,Andrologicum | And 2 more authors.
Andrology | Year: 2014

Besides the two nuclear oestrogen receptors (ESR1/ESR2), the G protein-coupled oestrogen receptor (GPER) was described in the human testis but little is known about testicular GPER during development or male infertility. We performed an immunohistochemical analysis using human and rhesus monkey testicular samples. The results obtained in adult primate testes showed GPER in interstitial and vascular cells as well as in smooth muscle-like peritubular cells, which build the wall of seminiferous tubules. Expression of GPER was also found in cultured human testicular peritubular cells (HPTCs) by Western blotting and RT-PCR/sequencing. Furthermore, as seen in time-lapse videos of cultured cells, addition of a specific GPER agonist (G1) significantly reduced the numbers of HTPCs within 24 h. A GPER antagonist (G15) prevented this action, implying a role for GPER related to the control of cell proliferation or cell death of peritubular cells. Peritubular cell functions and their phenotype change, for example, during post-natal development and in the cases of male infertility. The study of non-human primate samples revealed that GPER in peritubular cells was detectable only from the time of puberty onwards, while in samples from infantile and prepubertal monkeys only interstitial cells showed immunopositive staining. In testicular biopsies of men with mixed atrophy, a reduction or loss of immunoreactive GPER was found in peritubular cells surrounding those tubules, in which spermatogenesis was impaired. In other cases of impaired spermatogenesis, namely when the tubular wall was fibrotically remodelled, a complete loss of GPER was seen. Thus, the observed inverse relation between the state of fertility and GPER expression by peritubular cells implies that the regulation of primate testicular peritubular cells by oestrogens is mediated by GPER in both, health and disease. © 2014 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology. Source

Adam M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Urbanski H.F.,Oregon National Primate Research Center | Urbanski H.F.,Oregon Health And Science University | Garyfallou V.T.,Oregon National Primate Research Center | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Andrology | Year: 2012

Decorin (DCN), a component of the extracellular matrix of the peritubular wall and the interstitial areas of the human testis, can interact with growth factor (GF) signalling, thereby blocking downstream actions of GFs. In the present study the expression and regulation of DCN using both human testes and two experimental animal models, namely the rhesus monkey and mouse, were examined. DCN protein was present in peritubular and interstitial areas of adult human and monkey testes, while it was almost undetectable in adult wild type mice. Interestingly, the levels and sites of testicular DCN expression in the monkeys were inversely correlated with testicular maturation markers. A strong DCN expression associated with the abundant connective tissue of the interstitial areas in the postnatal through pre-pubertal phases was observed. In adult and old monkeys the DCN pattern was similar to the one in normal human testes, presenting strong expression at the peritubular region. In the testes of both infertile men and in a mouse model of inflammation associated infertility (aromatase-overexpressing transgenic mice), the fibrotic changes and increased numbers of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α-producing immune cells were shown to be associated with increased production of DCN. Furthermore, studies with human testicular peritubular cells isolated from fibrotic testis indicated that TNF-α significantly increased DCN production. The data, thus, show that an increased DCN level is associated with impaired testicular function, supporting our hypothesis that DCN interferes with paracrine signalling of the testis in health and disease. © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Andrology © 2011 European Academy of Andrology. Source

Adam M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schwarzer J.U.,Praxis Urology Andrology | Khn F.M.,Andrologicum | Strauss L.,University of Turku | And 2 more authors.
Human Reproduction | Year: 2011

Background Myofibroblastic, peritubular cells in the walls of seminiferous tubules produce low levels of the extracellular matrix (ECM) protein decorin (DCN), which has the ability to interfere with growth factor (GF) signaling. In men with impaired spermatogenesis, fibrotic remodeling of these walls and accumulation of tryptase-positive mast cells (MCs) occur. Methods Human testicular biopsies with normal and focally impaired spermatogenesis (mixed atrophy) were subjected to immunohistochemistry and laser micro-dissection followed by RTPCR. Primary human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs), which originate from normal and fibrotically altered testes (HTPC-Fs), were studied by qRTPCR, western blotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay measurements and Ca 2 imaging. Phosphorylation and viability/proliferation assays were performed. Results Immunohistochemistry revealed DCN deposits in the walls of tubules with impaired spermatogenesis. Mirroring the situation in vivo, HTPC-Fs secreted more DCN than HTPCs (P< 0.05). In contrast to HTPCs, HTPC-Fs also responded to the main MC product, tryptase, and to a tryptase receptor (PAR-2) agonist by further increased production of DCN (P< 0.05). Several GF receptors (GFRs) are expressed by HTPCs and HTPC-Fs. DCN acutely increased intracellular Ca 2-levels and phosphorylated epidermal GF (EGFR) within minutes. Platelet-derived GF (PDGF) and EGF induced strong mitogenic responses in HTPC/-Fs, actions that were blocked by DCN, suggesting that DCN in the ECM interferes with GF/GFRs signaling of peritubular cells of the human testis. Conclusions The data indicate that the increase in testicular DCN found in male infertility is a consequence of actions of MC-derived tryptase. We propose that the increases in DCN may consequently imbalance the paracrine signaling pathways in human testis. © 2011 The Author. Source

Welter H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Kohn F.M.,Andrologicum | Mayerhofer A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2011

Objective: To determine intratesticular abundance and distribution of tryptase-positive mast cells (MCs) and to examine the expression of key enzymes of prostaglandin (PG) synthesis, cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), and PGD2 synthase in the testes of men with mixed atrophy (MA) syndrome and in normal samples. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Academic research institute and andrology practice. Patient(s): Nineteen men. Intervention(s): Testicular biopsies. Main Outcome Measure(s): Immunohistochemistry and evaluation of COX2 and tryptase-positive MCs, laser microdissection of immunoreactive cells followed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for COX2 and PGDS-H mRNA, and transmission electron microscopy. Result(s): In line with previous studies, few tryptase-positive MCs, but no COX2-positive cells, were observed in testes with normal spermatogenesis. In MA samples, the number of tryptase-positive MCs was significantly increased and the cells accumulated in the walls of the seminiferous tubules. In 11 of 13 MA samples, COX2 protein was detected. In 2 cases, Leydig cells were positive; however, in all 11 of 13 cases, COX2 was localized to MCs, coexpressing tryptase. The proportion of MCs coexpressing COX2 varied from 4% to 35%. Laser microdissection of tryptase/COX2-positive MCs followed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction revealed PGDS-H mRNA. Transmission electron microscopy identified typical MCs with abundant granules and another subtype with only a few granules, implying that MCs may differentiate in the testes. Conclusion(s): In patients with MA, testicular MC numbers and phenotypes change with respect to the ability to express COX2 and synthesize PGs. MCs and PGs have emerged as players in spermatogenic dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Published by Elsevier Inc. Source

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