Essential role of neutrophils in germ cell-specific apoptosis following ischemia/reperfusion injury of the mouse testis

J. J. Lysiak, S. D. Turner, Q. A.T. Nguyen, K. Singbartl, K. Ley, T. T. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


This study investigates the role of neutrophils in ischemia-induced aspermatogenesis in the mouse. Previous studies in the rat have demonstrated that ischemia-inducing testicular torsion followed by torsion repair and reperfusion resulted in germ cell-specific apoptosis. This was correlated with an increase in neu-trophil adhesion to subtunical venules, an increase in reactive oxygen species, and increased expression of several apoptosis-associated molecules. In the present investigation, wild-type C57BL/6 mice were subjected to various degrees and duration of testicular torsion. A torsion of 720° for 2 h caused disruption of the seminiferous epithelium and significantly reduced testis weight and daily sperm production. An immunohistochemical method specific for apoptotic nuclei indicated that these effects were due to germ cell-specific apoptosis. An increase in myeloperoxidase (MPG) activity and an increase in the number of neutrophils adhering to testicular subtunical venules after torsion repair/reperfusion demonstrated an increase in neutrophil recruitment to the testis. In contrast, E-selectin knockout mice and wild-type mice rendered neutropenic showed a significant decrease in neutrophil recruitment as evidenced by MPG activity and microscopic examination of subtunical venules. Importantly, germ cell-specific apoptosis was also reduced. Thus, germ cell-specific apoptosis is observed after ischemia/reperfusion of the murine testis, and this apoptosis is directly linked to the recruitment of neutrophils to subtunical venules. Endothelial cell adhesion molecules, particularly E-selectin, play an important role in mediating this pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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