Morphofunctional alterations in testicular cells of deslorelin-treated boars: an immunohistochemical study.J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol 2008; 309(3):117-26JE
In this study we thoroughly scrutinized testes morphology and investigated whether treatment of recipient boars with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-agonist deslorelin could alter the expression of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), luteinizing hormone receptors (LHRs), and androgen receptors (ARs) in testicular cells. An implant containing 4.7 mg of the GnRH-agonist deslorelin was subcutaneously inserted into crossbred male pigs at 91 and 147 days of age. Testicular traits, morphology of the testes, the proteins' expression, and testosterone concentration in blood plasma were analyzed in all boars after slaughter at 175 days of age. Histological analysis revealed significant alterations in both the interstitial tissue and seminiferous tubules of experimental animals after 28 and 84 days of deslorelin treatment. The intensity of the AR immunostaining within the testis appeared as a function of the severity of testicular dysgenesis. Time-dependent action of deslorelin on the expression of LHR and 3beta-HSD in Leydig cells was also detected. Staining for LHR and 3beta-HSD was very weak or the Leydig cells were immunonegative. Concomitantly, a significant decrease in plasma testosterone level was found in both groups of deslorelin-treated boars when compared with the control group. This is the first report showing the cellular distribution of AR, LHR, and 3beta-HSD in testicular cells of deslorelin-treated boars. It is concluded that morphological and immunohistochemical studies are important for the evaluation of testicular histoarchitecture and steroidogenic function. Subsequently, the endocrine control of reproduction in the GnRH-agonist deslorelin-treated males will be better understood.