DES exposure results in apoptosis of spermatogonial stem cells in vitro
2017 Study Highlights
- Exposure of the spermatogonial stem cells to DES produced significant increases in superoxide anion, DNA damage and apoptosis.
- The male reproductive system can be disrupted by foetal exposure to DES.
- The flavonoid quercetin reduced intracellular superoxide anions induced by DES.
The spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are the only germline stem cells in adults that are responsible for the transmission of genetic information from mammals to the next generation. SSCs play a very important role in the maintenance of progression of spermatogenesis and help provide an understanding of the reproductive biology of future gametes and a strategy for diagnosis and treatment of infertility and male reproductive toxicity.
Androgens/oestrogens are very important for the suitable maintenance of male germ cells. There is also evidence confirming the damaging effects of oestrogen-like compounds on male reproductive health.
We investigated the effects in vitro, of diethylstilbestrol (DES) on mouse spermatogonial stem cells separated using Staput unit-gravity velocity sedimentation, evaluating any DNA damage using the Comet assay and apoptotic cells in the TUNEL assay.
Immunocytochemistry assays showed that the purity of isolated mouse spermatogonial cells was 90%, and the viability of these isolated cells was over 96%. Intracellular superoxide anion production (O2–) in SSCs was detected using p-Nitro Blue Tetrazolium (NBT) assay. The viability of cells after DES treatment was examined in the CCK8 (cell counting kit-8) cytotoxicity assay.
The study results showed that DES-induced DNA damage causes an increase in intracellular superoxide anions which are reduced by the flavonoid, quercetin. Investigating the molecular mechanisms and biology of SSCs provides a better understanding of spermatogonial stem cell regulation in the testis.
Sources and more information
- Diethylstilbestrol induces oxidative DNA damage, resulting in apoptosis of spermatogonial stem cells in vitro, ScienceDirect, Toxicology, doi.org/10.1016/j.tox.2017.03.013, May 2017.
- DNA luminal featured image credit Alessandro.