This study investigates the role of caspase 2 in apoptotic signaling of nonhuman primate male germ cells triggered by mild testicular hyperthermia, testosterone (T(e)) implants, or by combined interventions. Mean incidence of germ cell apoptosis increased significantly by Day 3 in the heat (H(e)) alone group and by Day 8 in the Te alone group but peaked at Day 3 in H(e) + T(e) group. We found activation of caspase 2 in both germ cells and Sertoli cells after induction of apoptosis. Most notably, active caspase 2 immunoreactivity was detected only in those germ cells susceptible to apoptosis compared with controls, where little or no such staining is detected. To further explore the role of caspase 2 in regulating male germ cell death, we next evaluated the efficacy of caspase 2 inhibition in preventing or attenuating heat-induced germ cell apoptosis in rats. Caspase 2 inhibition significantly (P < 0.05) prevented such heat-induced germ cell apoptosis. The protection offered by the caspase 2 inhibitor occurred upstream of mitochondria, involving suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) 14 activation and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) induction and, in turn, suppression of cytochrome c-mediated death pathway. Together, our results show that caspase 2 is activated in male germ cells undergoing apoptosis in nonhuman primates after heat stress, hormonal deprivation, or after combined interventions. Blockade of caspase 2 activation prevents heat-induced germ cell apoptosis in rats by suppressing the MAPK14- and NO-mediated intrinsic pathway signaling.