Effect of Temperature on the Development of Stages of Spermatogenesis and the Functionality of Sertoli Cells In Vitro

Areej Jorban, Eitan Lunenfeld, Mahmoud Huleihel

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Abstract

Spermatogenesis is the process of proliferation and differentiation of spermatogonial cells to meiotic and post-meiotic stages and sperm generation. Normal spermatogenesis occurs in vivo at 34 °C to 35 °C, and high temperatures are known to cause male infertility. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of temperature (35 °C compared to 37 °C) on the viability/apoptosis of developed cells, on the development of different stages of spermatogenesis in 3D in vitro culture conditions, and the functionality of Sertoli cells under these conditions. We used isolated cells from seminiferous tubules of sexually immature mice. The cells were cultured in methylcellulose (as a three-dimensional (3D) in vitro culture system) and incubated in a CO2 incubator at 35 °C or 37 °C. After two to six weeks, the developed cells and organoids were collected and examined for cell viability and apoptosis markers. The development of different stages of spermatogenesis was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining or qPCR analysis using specific antibodies or primers, respectively, for cells at each stage. Factors that indicate the functionality of Sertoli cells were assessed by qPCR analysis. The developed organoids were examined by a confocal microscope. Our results show that the percentages and/or the expression levels of the developed pre-meiotic, meiotic, and post-meiotic cells were significantly higher at 35 °C compared to those at 37 °C, including the expression levels of the androgen receptor, the FSH receptor, transferrin, the androgen-binding protein (ABP), and the glial-derived nerve growth factor (GDNF) which were similarly significantly higher at 35 °C than at 37 °C. The percentages of apoptotic cells (according to acridine orange staining) and the expression levels of BAX, FAS, and CASPAS 3 were significantly higher in cultures incubated at 37 °C compared to those incubated at 35 °C. These findings support the in vivo results regarding the negative effect of high temperatures on the process of spermatogenesis and suggest a possible effect of high temperatures on the viability/apoptosis of spermatogenic cells. In addition, increasing the temperature in vitro also impaired the functionality of Sertoli cells. These findings may deepen our understanding of the mechanisms behind optimal conditions for normal spermatogenesis in vivo and in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2160
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Sertoli cells
  • in vitro differentiation of spermatogonial cells
  • organoids
  • spermatogenesis
  • spermatogonial stem cells
  • temperature

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