Cryptorchidism and infertility in rats with targeted disruption of the Adamts16 locus

PLoS One. 2014 Jul 1;9(7):e100967. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100967. eCollection 2014.


A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase with ThromboSpondin motifs16 (ADAMTS-16) is a member of a family of metalloproteinases. Using a novel zinc-finger nuclease based gene-edited rat model harboring a targeted mutation of the Adamts16 locus, we previously reported this gene to be linked to blood pressure regulation. Here we document our observation with this model that Adamts16 is essential for normal development of the testis. Absence of Adamts16 in the homozygous Adamts16mutant males resulted in cryptorchidism and male sterility. Heterozygous Adamts16mutant males were normal, indicating that this is a recessive trait. Testes of homozygous Adamts16mutant males were significantly smaller with significant histological changes associated with the lack of sperm production. Temporal histological assessments of the testis demonstrated that the seminiferous tubules did not support active spermatogenesis, but progressively lost germ cells, accumulated vacuoles and did not have any sperm. These observations, taken together with our previous report of renal abnormalities observed with the same Adamts16mutant rats, suggest an important mechanistic link between Adamts16 and the functioning of the male genitourinary system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • ADAM Proteins / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cryptorchidism / enzymology
  • Cryptorchidism / genetics*
  • Cryptorchidism / pathology
  • Genetic Loci*
  • Infertility, Male / enzymology
  • Infertility, Male / genetics*
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Rats
  • Spermatogenesis*


  • ADAM Proteins