Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The contribution of p53 and Y chromosome long arm genes to regulation of apoptosis in mouse testis

Tomasz Lech A D , Józefa Styrna B and Katarzyna Kotarska B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Commodity Science, Cracow University of Economics, Rakowicka 27, PL 31-510, Krakow, Poland.

B Department of Genetics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 9, PL 30-387, Krakow, Poland.

C Department of Experimental Neuroendocrinology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Smetna 12, PL 31-343 Krakow, Poland.

D Corresponding author. Email: tomasz.lech@uek.krakow.pl

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17217
Submitted: 28 February 2017  Accepted: 15 July 2017   Published online: 2 August 2017

Abstract

Apoptosis of excessive or defective germ cells is a natural process occurring in mammalian testes. Tumour suppressor protein p53 is involved in this process both in developing and adult male gonads. Its contribution to testicular physiology is known to be modified by genetic background. The aim of this study was to evaluate the combined influence of the p53 and Y chromosome long arm genes on male germ cell apoptosis. Knockout of the transformation related protein 53 (Trp53) gene was introduced into congenic strains: B10.BR (intact Y chromosome) and B10.BR-Ydel (Y chromosome with a deletion in the long arm). The level of apoptosis in the testes of 19-day-old and 3-month-old male mice was determined using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate in situ nick-end labelling (TUNEL) method. The study revealed that although p53 is involved in germ cell apoptosis in peripubertal testes, this process can also be mediated by p53-independent mechanisms. However, activation of p53-independent apoptotic pathways in the absence of the p53 protein requires engagement of the multicopy Yq genes and was not observed in gonads of B10.BR-Ydel-p53-/- males. The role of Yq genes in the regulation of testicular apoptosis seems to be restricted to the initial wave of spermatogenesis and is not evident in adult gonads. The study confirmed, instead, that p53 does participate in spontaneous apoptosis in mature testes.

Additional keywords: male germ cells, p53 knockout, spermatogenesis, Yq deletion.


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