Antioxidant superoxide dismutase--A review: Its function, regulation in the testis, and role in male fertility
Mruk,Dolores D.; Silvestrini,Bruno; Mo,Meng-Yun; Cheng,Chuen-yan
Contraception 65(4): 305-311
Publication date: 2002
Extracellular superoxide dismutase (SODEX), an antioxidant enzyme, was found to be present in the testis at a relatively high concentration versus other organs. In a more detailed survey of several rat tissues and cells by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, it was shown that germ cells expressed approximately one-third that of Sertoli cells, suggesting both cell types are equipped with the machinery needed to defend themselves from radical-induced damage. When we used an in vitro model in which germ cells were co-cultured with Sertoli cells at a Sertoli:germ cell ratio of 1:1, we failed to detect any changes in the mRNA level of SODEX. However, the addition of increasing concentrations of germ cell secretory proteins into Sertoli cell cultures resulted in a decrease in Sertoli cell SODEX expression, illustrating that germ cells can indeed regulate Sertoli cell SODEX. On the other hand, Sertoli cell SODEX expression was stimulated when human recombinant interleukin-1a (IL-1a), a germ cell product, was included into Sertoli cells in vitro. These results, taken collectively, suggest SODEX is an important antioxidant molecule in the testis that is under germ cell regulation.