Unraveling the molecular targets pertinent to junction restructuring events during spermatogenesis using the Adjudin-induced germ cell depletion model

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



During spermatogenesis, extensive restructuring takes place at the Sertoli-Sertoli and Sertoli-germ cell interface, which is regulated via intriguing interactions among cytokines, proteases, protease inhibitors, kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors. This in turn determines the steady-state levels of integral membrane proteins at the cell junctions. We sought to further expand these observations using the Adjudin model. Adjudin is a potential male contraceptive that targets Sertoli-germ cell adhesion, causing exfoliation of spermatids and spermatocytes, but not spermatogonia, from the seminiferous epithelium. This model thus provides the means to identify crucial regulatory molecules and signaling pathways pertinent to junction restructuring events during spermatogenesis. In this study, genome-wide expression profiling of rat testes after treatment with Adjudin at the time of extensive junction restructuring was performed. Differentially regulated genes, such as cytokines, proteases, protease inhibitors, cell junction-associated proteins, and transcription factors pertinent to junction restructuring were identified. These data were consistent with earlier findings; however, much new information was obtained which has been deposited at the Gene Expression Omnibus data repository website: http://viww.ncbi.nih.gov/geo/ with Accession number: GSE5131. The primary signaling events pertinent to junction restructuring in the testis induced by Adjudin were also delineated using bioinformatics. These findings were also consistent with recently published reports. The identified molecular signatures or targets pertinent to junction dynamics in the testis as reported herein, many of which have not been investigated, thus offer a framework upon which the regulation of junction restructuring events at the Sertoli-Sertoli and Sertoli-germ cell interface pertinent to spermatogenesis can be further studied.