Does the Testicular Apoptotic Index Vary with Serum Gonadotropins and Testicular Histopathology in Infertile Men?

Kandirali E., ÇAYAN S., Armagan A., Erol B., Kadioglu A.

UROLOGIA INTERNATIONALIS, vol.83, no.3, pp.349-353, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 83 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000241681
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.349-353
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Aims: Testicular apoptosis has been shown in human specimens, but its correlation with serum gonadotropins and testosterone levels has not been studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of apoptosis with serum hormone levels and testicular histopathological findings in infertile men. Methods: Testis biopsy specimens were obtained for routine clinical purposes from 41 azoospermic men. The biopsy material was divided into two parts: one part was fixed in Bouin's solution and processed using paraffin embedding and HE staining, and the other was fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin and embedded in paraffin for the detection of apoptosis using TUNEL. To determine the apoptotic index, the number of apoptotic cells was divided by the total number of the counted cells and multiplied by 100 to calculate the percentage. Results: The apoptotic index was significantly higher in specimens with maturation arrest than in those with normal spermatogenesis (p = 0.016), hypospermatogenesis (p = 0.05), and Sertoli-cell-only specimens (p < 0.001). A significant negative correlation was found between serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels and the apoptotic index (r = -0.356, p = 0.01). Conclusion: Our results demonstrate there is a relationship between increased apoptosis and testicular dysfunction, and indicate a prominent role for apoptosis in human male infertility. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel