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. 2019 Feb;65(1):29-38.
doi: 10.1080/19396368.2018.1467512. Epub 2018 May 8.

ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS5 Metalloproteases Produced by Sertoli Cells: A Potential Diagnostic Marker in Azoospermia


ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS5 Metalloproteases Produced by Sertoli Cells: A Potential Diagnostic Marker in Azoospermia

Oya Sena Aydos et al. Syst Biol Reprod Med. .


In this study, our aim was to detect protein levels of A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin Motifs 1 and 5 (ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS5) proteases and to examine the effect of in vitro FSH supplementation on protease production in cultured Sertoli cells. The expression of metalloproteases, ADAMTS1, and ADAMTS5 were investigated in Sertoli cell cultures as well as in ejaculate of azoospermic men which then were compared with ejaculates of the fertile control group. A total of 15 azoospermic men, diagnosed as obstructive (OA, n = 5) and nonobstructive (NOA, n = 10) azoospermia were included in the study. ADAMTS1, ADAMTS5 and FSH receptors (FSHR) were found to be expressed 2.56, 2.10, and 2.66-fold less in Sertoli cells of NOA patients, than those of OA (p < 0.05). After rFSH was added onto Sertoli cell cultures of NOA patients, their expression did not increase significantly and did not reach to levels of control group. Evaluation of ejaculates revealed that the expression of ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS5 were insignificantly 1.03 and 1.1-fold higher in OA group (p > 0.05), respectively; however, in the NOA group, their expression were 1.70 and 1.96-fold lower, respectively, when compared with the fertile control group (p < 0.05) which was statistically significant. As a conclusion, the present study has revealed that insufficiency of ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS5 expression in Sertoli cells may have an important role in the etiology of male infertility. As expected due to low FSHR expression, rFSH response is impaired in NOA patients with relatively low ADAMTS expression response; therefore, such patients might hardly benefit from rFSH treatment. Further studies with larger cohorts may reveal ADAMTSs' potential use as a predictive marker for positive sperm retrieval in azoospermic patients who are scheduled to undergo testicular sperm extraction. Abbreviations: ADAM: A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase; ADAMTS1 and ADAMTS5: A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with 10 Thrombospondin Motifs 1 and 5; ADAMTS: A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin; ABP: androgen binding protein; CAMs: cell adhesion molecules; ECM: extracellular matrix; FSH: follicle stimulating hormone; FSHR: FSH receptors; HRP: horseradish peroxidase; MMP: matrix metalloproteinases; MP: metalloproteinases; NOA: nonobstructive azoospermia; OA: obstructive azoospermia; TIMP-1: tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1.

Keywords: ADAMTS; Azoospermia; Sertoli cell culture; male infertility; metalloprotease.

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