Role of leptin and the leptin receptor in the pathogenesis of varicocele-induced testicular dysfunction
Zhang, J1; Gong, M1
Objective: We investigated the expression of leptin and its receptor in the left testis and hypothalamus of rats with varicocele, and clarified their roles in the pathogenesis of varicocele-induced testicular dysfunction.
Materials and methods: Forty male rats were divided randomly into four groups. Groups 1 (G1) and 3 (G3) underwent a sham operation. Groups 2 (G2) and 4 (G4) underwent operations to form a varicocele created by partial ligation of the left renal vein. G1 and G2 rats were killed 4 weeks after the operation while G3 and G4 rats were killed at 8 weeks. Expression of leptin and its receptor was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. mRNA levels of leptin, its receptor, KiSS-1, G-protein coupled receptor 54 (GPR54), gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) were measured by real-time-polymerase chain reaction. Testicular spermatogenic function and gonadal hormone levels were measured.
Results: Compared with G1 and G3, the expression of leptin and its receptor in rat testis was significantly higher in G2 and G4, respectively. Leptin expression was inversely related to the number of sperm in the left epididymis, thickness of seminiferous epithelium, and diameter of seminiferous tubules. Expression of leptin receptors in the hypothalamus of G2 and G4 was significantly increased compared to that in G1 and G3, respectively. mRNA levels of KiSS-1, GPR54, GnRH, LH, and FSH in G2 and G4 were significantly increased compared to that in G1 and G3, respectively.
Conclusion: Leptin and its receptor may have significant roles in the male reproductive system by regulating the KiSS-1/GPR54 system.
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