HST-1/FGF-4 gene activation induces spermatogenesis and prevents adriamycin-induced testicular toxicity

Oncogene. 2002 Jan 31;21(6):899-908. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205135.


We previously demonstrated expression of the HST-1/FGF-4 gene in the testis of normal adult animals, which suggests its possible role in spermatogenesis. For an understanding of its functional significance in the testis, conditional transgene expression was used. Precise genetic switches can be efficiently generated in a straightforward manner using adenovirus-carrying Cre recombinase, which means our new strategies promise to contribute substantially to a better and prompt understanding of the functions of genes in vivo by controlling the expression of any gene to any organ at any desired time. Our new method demonstrated for the first time that the specific gain of function of the HST-1/FGF-4 gene in the testis resulted in markedly enhanced spermatogenesis. To further investigate the function and therapeutic potency of HST-1/FGF-4, transgenic mice with enhanced HST-1/FGF-4 expression in the testis were exposed to adriamycin (ADR), an anticancer drug causing severe testicular toxicity. Degree of damage to spermatogenesis was assessed by sperm count, testicular weight, histology, and DNA ploidy. Induced expression of HST-1/FGF-4 markedly enhanced the recovery of ADR-induced testicular damage. Furthermore, adenoviruses carrying the HST-1/FGF-4 gene ameliorated testicular toxicity of ADR. These results with new adenovirus-mediated Cre/lox conditional mice indicated that HST-1/FGF-4 could be an important factor for spermatogenesis, presenting a new paradigm to treat impaired fertility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Age Factors
  • Aneuploidy
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • DNA / analysis
  • Doxorubicin / toxicity*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 4
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / physiology
  • Sertoli Cells / metabolism
  • Sperm Count
  • Spermatogenesis / drug effects
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics*
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / pathology
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • FGF4 protein, human
  • Fgf4 protein, mouse
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 4
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Doxorubicin
  • DNA
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases