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, 64 (1), 127-33

Structure and Gametogenic Potential of Seminiferous Tubules in Ageing Mice

Structure and Gametogenic Potential of Seminiferous Tubules in Ageing Mice

R G Gosden et al. J Reprod Fertil.

Abstract

The gametogenic potential of young male CBA/Ca mice aged 4-5 months was compared with that of animals 20-23 months of age which had recently ceased to sire offspring. The older mice had substantially lower circulating levels of testosterone and smaller testes. Testicular and epididymal spermatozoa were reduced in number, had more abnormal forms and fewer were progressively motile. Ageing seminiferous tubules varied in the degree of functional atrophy from complete depletion of germ cells to maintenance of sperm production. They were enclosed by a thickened basal lamina and more collagenous connective tissue and occasionally allowed the penetration of lanthanum between Sertoli cells into the ad-luminal compartment. There was no evidence of autosensitization to sperm antigens.

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