Nitric oxide-cGMP signaling: Its role in cell junction dynamics during spermatogenesis
During spermatogenesis, development of spermatogonia into elongated spermatids takes place in the seminiferous epithelium of the adult mammalian testis. Specifically, post-meiotic germ cell maturation occurs in a unique microenvironment sequestered from the systemic circulation by the blood-testis barrier (BTB), which is formed by adjacent Sertoli cells. Therefore, an intact BTB, as ell as stable Sertoli-germ cell adhesion, are important criteria for successful spermatogenesis. To date, numerous factors have been shown to influence spermatogenesis, and among them is the well-studied nitric oxide (.NO)/guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) signaling cascade. The enzymes of this pathway, namely nitric oxide synthase, soluble guanylate cyclase and cGMP-dependent protein kinase, have all been shown to regulate cell junctions in the testis. Likewise, recent findings have shown that this signaling cascade also plays a critical role in the regulation of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion. In this mini-review, we briefly discuss the regulatory role of each protein component of the NO/ cGMP pathway in the context of testicular junction dynamics, as well as their importance in fertility and male contraception.
Sarkar, Oli, Premendu P. Mathur, and Dolores D. Mruk. 2008. “Nitric oxide-cGMP signaling: Its role in cell junction dynamics during spermatogenesis,” Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 8(1): 28–35.