Increased expression of interleukin-1α and interleukin-1β is associated with experimental varicocele

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Objective: To describe the effect of varicocele, in an experimental rat model, on the levels of IL-1α and IL-1β proteins in testis tissue. Design: Comparative and controlled study. Setting: Experimental research. Animal(s): Wistar male rats in experimental and control groups. Intervention(s): The control group underwent sham operation (n = 6). Experimental groups underwent partial ligation of the renal vein to induce experimental varicocele and were then killed at 9 (n = 6), 11 (n = 6), and 13 (n = 6) weeks after induction of varicocele. Main Outcome Measure(s): Histologic evaluation of the varicocele model was determined by periodic acid-Schiff staining of paraffin-embeded testicular tissues. Levels of cytokines were assessed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Result(s): Varicocele caused testicular damage, especially in 11- and 13-week-old varicocele groups. In sham-operated rats, Golgi complexes of round spermatids expressed especially the α form of IL-1. By the progression of varicocele, the IL-1α expression increased temporally in Sertoli cells, spermatogonia, primary spermatocytes, spermatids, and Leydig cells. The expression of IL-1β was seen in Leydig cells in sham-operated rats. The IL-1β expression was also increased upon progression of varicocele in Leydig cells, Sertoli cells, and spermatogonia. Conclusion(s): We suggest that IL-1α and IL-1β are the regulators of testicular function. Certain pathologic conditions, e.g., varicocele, cause an increase in the expressions of such proinflammatory cytokines. The increased expression of IL-1α and IL-1β in varicocele shifts the balance in favor of inflammatory and immune responses and causes detrimental effects in testis tissue, which may cause male infertility. © 2006 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.




Sahin, Z., Celik-Ozenci, C., Akkoyunlu, G., Korgun, E. T., Acar, N., Erdogru, T., … Ustunel, I. (2006). Increased expression of interleukin-1α and interleukin-1β is associated with experimental varicocele. Fertility and Sterility, 85(SUPPL. 1), 1265–1275.

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