Change and significance of the expression of c-kit and SCF following recovery from unilateral testicular torsion in rats

Yi Guan, XinMin Zheng, ZhiWei Yang, ShiWen Li


Purpose: To investigate the change in expression levels of c-kit and SCF, and the protective effects of FSH on ischemia-reperfusion injury due to testicular torsion-detorsion.

Methods: 24 adult male SD rats were divided into three groups of 8: control group, testicular torsion group and FSH-treated group. The control group was treated with sham-operation. Animals in the testicular torsion and FSH-treated groups were subjected to unilateral 720┬░counterclockwise testicular torsion for 2 hours and then reperfusion was allowed after detorsion. The FSH-treated group received intraperitoneal injection of FSH 15min before detorsion. Then, the rats were sacrificed and the testes were harvested. Histopathological changes were observed by light microscope, and the expression levels of c-kit, SCF in testicular tissue in the different groups were detected by Immunohistochemical assay and Quantitative Real-time RT-PCR analysis. Finally, the relative proportions of germ cells were measured by FCM.

Results: c-kit and SCF were positive expressed in 52.58% and 61.16% of testicular cells of control tissues, respectively. Decreases of c-kit and SCF positive cells (15.01% and 9.18%) were found in the testicular torsion group. After being treated by FSH, the number of positive cells increased (31.25% and 20.01%). Moreover, the c-kit and SCF mRNA expression was increased dramatically (P < 0.01) in response to FSH stimulation. Furthermore, the number of haploid, diploid and tetraploid cells has also increased significantly in drug-treated testes (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The mechanism of tissue damage in the testicular torsion model, includes changes in the expression of c-kit and SCF following torsion. Also, FSH has a protective effect on germ cells after unilateral testicular torsion, which was reflected by increased c-kit and SCF levels.

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