In an attempt to clarify the male infertility and develop new methods for male contraception, researches have focused on local regulators of intratesticular events. Androgen and estrogen receptors are involved in spermatogenesis and testosterone plays a role on the blood-testis barrier (BTB). Varicocele or dilatation of the spermatic vein, pampiniform plexus, and the collaterals leading to the iliac, typically occurs on the left side and it is associated with an increase in the male infertility. Thus, the studies of the effects of varicocele on BHT, cell-cell junctions, steroids, paracrine and autocrine factors, that play a role in testicular cells functions, will be important to clarify the events involved in the varicocele. Steroids change may be involved in the pathophysiology of varicocele; however, the results obtained in different species showed discrepancies. Our laboratory confirmed that experimental left varicocele induced a decrease in the diameter and in the area of the seminiferous tubules and the presence of sloughed immature germ cells into the lumen. Thus, the aim of the present study is to further explore the effects of experimental left varicocele induced in 40 and 50-day old rats on: 1. cells present during the stages VII, VIII and IX of the seminiferous epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis, using light microscope; 2. plasma and tissue testosterone and estradiol levels, using solid phase radioimmunoassay; 3. AR, ERa e ERb expression in the testis by Western Blot; 4. a-catenin, occludin e N-cadherin expression in the testis by Werstern Blot; 5. on gene expression of the testis, using a microarray approach. Identification of new molecular targets for varicocele action may help elucidate its regulatory role in the male infertility.
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