|The Relationship Between Extracellular Matrix Proteins and Germ Cell Apoptosis in Balb/C Mouse Testis Following Experimental Hypothyroidism|
|Fatemeh Alipour1, Mehdi Jalali1, Mohammad Reza Nikravesh1, Alireza Fazel1, Mojtaba Sankian2, Elnaz Khordad1|
|1Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2Bou-Ali Research Institute, Immunology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
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Keywords : Hypothyroidism, Laminin α5, Collagen IV, Germ cell, Apoptosis
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Objectives: Dysfunction of the thyroid gland has a negative effect on the male reproductive system. Studies also show that extracellular matrix (ECM) components play an essential role in testicular development and function. In hypothyroidism, there is a significant disruption in the ECM structure of mammalian tissues. In addition, notable changes have been reported in the germ cell population under a hypothyroid state. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between ECM proteins and apoptosis of testicular germ cells due to hypothyroidism.
Materials and Methods: In the present experimental study, 20 male Balb/C mice were divided into control and hypothyroid groups. The hypothyroid group received 0.05% 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU) through drinking water for 35 days. Finally, real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, terminal transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay, and biochemical measurements were performed after hypothyroidism confirmation.
Results: Laminin α5 and collagen IV mRNA levels were upregulated in the hypothyroid group compared to the controls (P < 0.05). Further, a strong immunoreactivity of collagen IV and laminin α5 was observed in the basement membrane (BM) of hypothyroid mice (P < 0.05). In contrast, there was no significant difference between the case and control groups regarding PAS staining. The number of TUNEL-positive germ cells in hypothyroid mice increased significantly compared to control mice. Moreover, PTU administration reduced superoxide dismutase activity while increasing the malondialdehyde level (P < 0.05). Eventually, no significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of thiol content.
Conclusion: Based on the results of the present study, hypothyroidism can cause changes in BM components and increase the apoptosis of germ cells by inducing lipid peroxidation and reducing the activity of antioxidant defense molecules.
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