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, 127 (3), 359-66

Age-induced Apoptosis in the Male Genital Tract of the Mouse

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Age-induced Apoptosis in the Male Genital Tract of the Mouse

M Jara et al. Reproduction.

Abstract

We have examined the effects of ageing on the increase in apoptotic cells numbers in the male genital tract of the house mouse (Mus musculus). We have found that not all organs have the same response. There is an induction of apoptosis in both the epididymis and ventral prostate. However, seminal vesicles and other prostatic lobes remain unaffected. Apoptosis was assessed by several methods: TUNEL, detection of the active fragment of caspase-3 and the pattern of DNA fragmentation on agarose gels. This increase in apoptosis is related to the fall in testosterone levels, although there is only a partial decrease in androgen receptor (AR). AR is still present in all tissues and only moderately reduced in the epididymis and ventral prostate. A more intense increase of lipofuscin granules, which may be indicative of oxidative stress, occurred in these tissues. Finally, testosterone supplementation reverses the changes (both in apoptosis and lipofuscin content in the tissue), suggesting a role of androgens in these processes.

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