Immunofluorescence analysis of testicular biopsies with germ cell and Sertoli cell markers shows significant MVH negative germ cell depletion with older age of orchidopexy - Abstract

PURPOSE: Undescended testis is the most common defect in newborn boys.

It is associated with increased risks of infertility and testicular malignancy due to abnormal germ cell development in these testes. Early surgery may limit such risks. The aim of our study was to analyse germ cell development verses age of orchidopexy using a germ cell marker and a Sertoli cell marker on testicular biopsies.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human testicular biopsies at orchidopexy (n=22, 5-24.5 months old) were fixed and embedded in paraffin. Sections were processed and labeled with anti-Műllerian hormone (AMH) antibody for Sertoli cells and mouse VASA homolog (MVH) antibody for germ cells for immunofluorescent histochemistry. Confocal images were counted using image-J for germ cells and testicular tubules. The data were analysed using linear regression.

RESULTS: Sertoli cells were clearly distinguished from both MVH+ and MVH- germ cells located centrally or on basement membranes of tubules. Percentage of tubules with MVH- germ cells significantly decreased with increasing age of orchidopexy (β=-0.03, P =0.03). Both total tubular numbers and "empty" tubules without germ cells significantly increased when orchidopexy age increased (β =1.15, P =0.02 and β=0.44, P =0.04, respectively).

CONCLUSION: AMH antibody distinguished Sertoli cells from germ cells and MVH antibody distinguished two types of germ cells at different developmental stages. Orchidopexy at older ages showed significant germ cell depletion. These results lend support to early surgery to optimize germ cell number.

Written by:
Li R, Thorup J, Sun C, Cortes D, Southwell B, Hutson J.   Are you the author?
Surgical Research Laboratory, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Reference: J Urol. 2013 Sep 5. pii: S0022-5347(13)05322-6.
doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.08.075

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 24012581 Testicular Cancer Section