Differential expression of genes encoding constitutive and inducible 20S proteasomal core subunits in the testis and epididymis of theophylline- or 1,3-dinitrobenzene-exposed rats.

Theophylline (THP) and 1,3-dinitrobenzene (DNB) are thought to induce infertility by incapacitating the nurturing Sertoli cells and causing germ cell apoptosis in the testicular seminiferous epithelium, respectively. We hypothesized that THP and DNB exposure would alter the expression of the genes within the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP), implicated in spermatogenesis and epididymal sperm quality control. Rats were fed 0 or 8000 ppm of THP and necropsied on Days 18, 30, and 42 or administered 0, 2, or 6 mg/kg DNB via oral gavage and necropsied on Day 7. Tissues were collected from the testis and the caput, corpus, and cauda regions of the epididymis for transcriptional profiling by semiquantitative RT-PCR, real-time RT-PCR, and histopathology. Target UPP genes included those encoding for constitutive the 20S proteasomal core subunits Psmb1 (beta1), Psmb2 (beta2), and Psmb5 (beta5); the inducible 20S core subunits Psmb9 (LMP2), Psmb8 (LMP7), and Psmb10 (LMP10); and Ube1 (ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1), Ube2d3 (ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2), and Uchl1 (ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase PGP9.5). Spermatozoa were collected from the cauda epididymis for analysis by light microscopy and flow cytometric evaluation of sperm surface ubiquitin. These data show that reprotoxic exposure alters the tissue-specific expression of UPP genes in the testis and epididymis, which may contribute to the aberrant spermatogenesis and epididymal processing of both normal and defective spermatozoa. Transcriptional profiling and flow cytometric analysis of the UPP thus captures the prodromal effects of reproductive toxicity not captured by conventional histology and functional cytology. Complementing seminal analysis with these measures may be useful in screening drug-induced toxicity or environmental infertility.
AuthorsMark W Tengowski, Dongyan Feng, Miriam Sutovsky, Peter Sutovsky
JournalBiology of reproduction (Biol Reprod) Vol. 76 Issue 1 Pg. 149-63 (Jan 2007) ISSN: 0006-3363 [Print] United States
PMID16988215 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ubiquitin
  • Theophylline
  • 3-dinitrobenzene
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Animals
  • Dinitrobenzenes (toxicity)
  • Epididymis (cytology, drug effects, enzymology)
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Infertility, Male (chemically induced, enzymology, genetics)
  • Male
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex (analysis, genetics)
  • RNA, Messenger (analysis, metabolism)
  • Rats
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Spermatogenesis (drug effects, genetics)
  • Spermatozoa (cytology, enzymology)
  • Testis (cytology, drug effects, enzymology)
  • Theophylline (toxicity)
  • Ubiquitin (metabolism)

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