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Differential Expression of Genes: MATERIALS AND METHODS(2)


Food consumption was measured weekly during the study period. The start date of each group was coordinated to accommodate a single necropsy and tissue collection procedure. The left and right testis and epididymis were collected, weighed, and processed for molecular and microscopic end points.

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Differential Expression of Genes: MATERIALS AND METHODS(1)

Animals, Treatments, and Sample Isolation

All procedures and experimental protocols were reviewed and approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee at Groton Laboratories (Pfizer, Inc., New York, NY), and animals were housed in facilities accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. Groups of 10-wk-old male Crl:CD (SD)BR VAF/Plus rats (—175 g) were housed singly and given THP daily at 0 ppm (five animals per group) or 8000 ppm (five animals per group) in feed for 18, 30, or 42 consecutive days (T1633; Sigma, St. Louis, MO).

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Differential Expression of Genes: INTRODUCTION(5)


At high concentrations, THP is a documented male reprotoxic agent thought to induce infertility by incapacitating the nurturing Sertoli cells, thus resulting in the premature release of late differentiating spermatogenic cells, round spermatids. This leads to the depletion of spermatids and mature spermatozoa from the adluminal compartment of the seminiferous epithelium, ultimately causing testicular atrophy. The effect of THP on the epididymal epithelium is poorly studied, although we have recently shown that an increased accumulation of ubiquitin in the secretory sites along epididymal epithelia of THP-exposed rats coincides with exposure.

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Differential Expression of Genes: INTRODUCTION(4)

Among the latter, the constitutive subunits PMSB1 (p1), PMSB2 (p2), and PMSB5 (p5) are replaced by the inducible subunits PMSB9 (p1i or LMP2), PMSB8 (p2i or LMP7), and PMSB10 (p5i or MECL-1/LMP10) in some cell types, including, but not limited to, professional antigen-presenting leukocytes. Upon binding to the 19S complex, the polyubiquitin chain is removed from the substrate protein and recycled into reusable monoubiquitin molecules by deubiquitinating enzymes, which, in addition to the regeneration of monoubiquitin, fulfill important regulatory functions in ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation (reviewed by Nijman et al. and Wing ).

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Differential Expression of Genes: INTRODUCTION(3)


In the canonical ATP-dependent ubiquitin pathway, a molecule of ubiquitin is activated by ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1 and then passed onto a ubiquitin carrier, conjugating enzyme E2, and covalently ligated to an internal lysine residue or to an N-terminal residue of a substrate protein flanked with a substrate-specific E3-type ubiquitin ligase. Subsequently, long polyubiquitin chains are formed by the tandem ligation of additional ubiquitin molecules to the one bound to a substrate protein. Polyubiquitin chains mark the substrate for recognition by the 26S proteasome.

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Differential Expression of Genes: INTRODUCTION(2)

Of particular importance for the present study is the finding that malfunctions of the ubiquitin system, because of molecular misreading during the transcription of polyubiquitin genes, are observed in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer disease. A reduced proteasomal proteolytic activity accompanies liver cirrhosis in ethanol-exposed laboratory rodents and patients with a history of alcohol abuse.

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Differential Expression of Genes: INTRODUCTION(1)


The transition from a somatic cell-like phenotype of a spermatogonium to a unique, motile phenotype of a fully differentiated spermatozoon during mammalian spermatogenesis requires regulated proteolysis and organelle degradation. The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) fulfills necessary requirements for the substrate specificity and developmental programming of proteolysis within the differentiating male germ cells. Consequently, a set of genes that encode for testis-specific or alternatively spliced, unique ubiquitin-activat-ing and -conjugating enzymes, along with polyubiquitin genes and those encoding for proteasomal subunits, is expressed during spermatogenesis. Some of these genes, if disrupted, lead to altered or arrested spermatogenesis.

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Effect of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Testis Tissue Culture: DISCUSSION(7)

These data suggest that although culturing of testis tissue has a negative impact on graft growth, overall germ cell differentiation is unaffected. Thus, culturing of testis tissue in various treatments and culture media could serve as a useful technique to study bovine spermatogenesis.

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Effect of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Testis Tissue Culture: DISCUSSION(6)


It is highly unlikely that some seminiferous tubules dissociated from the testis tissue and were lost during the culture period. However, it is possible that some of the seminiferous tubules degenerated to an unrecoverable state and were overgrown by interstitial cells during the grafting period. It is also possible that the smaller number of seminiferous tubule cross sections in a cross section of testis graft is due to decreased lateral growth of cultured seminiferous tubules, resulting in shorter tubules and thus fewer cross sections.
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Effect of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Testis Tissue Culture: DISCUSSION(5)

The results of the VEGF treatment experiment indicate that it is possible to manipulate bovine testis tissue prior to xenografting to increase the percentage of seminiferous tubule cross sections undergoing complete germ cell differentiation within the graft.

Culturing small pieces of bovine testis tissue has been demonstrated to nearly double the population of SSCs in the testis tissue.

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