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Testicular lipids in mice with testicular feminization

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Morphological, histochemical and biochemical studies of the testis of mice with testicular feminization (tfm/y) reveal a large accumulation of lipids in Leydig cells and in Sertoli cells. In Leydig cells of tfm/y mice, lipid droplets do not exhibit the special relationship with smooth endoplasmic reticulum that exists in normal adult Leydig cells. Compared to the surgically-cryptorchid control, the tfm/y testis contains more lipid in Leydig cells but less in Sertoli cells.

There are also quantitative differences in testicular lipids in tfm/y and normal testes but no significant differences were noted between tfm/y and surgically-cryptorchid testes. The testes of both the genetically defective and surgically-cryptorchid animals contain increased amounts of total lipids and phospholipids, and of free and esterified cholesterols. Exogenous testosterone has no effect on lipids or other characteristics of these cells.

The present results suggest that the increased lipids in tfm/y mice result from a genetic disorder that asserts itself (1) in Leydig cells where it is associated with, and is probably a result of, impaired lipid metabolism and steroidogenesis, and (2) in Sertoli cells where it is perhaps attributable to arrested spermatogenesis and impaired steroidogenesis.

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Author information

Correspondence to Kyung Won Chung or James B. Hamilton.

Additional information

Supported in part by the Harris McLaughlin Foundation.

We would like to express our appreciation to Dr. C. Wayne Bardin, Professor of Medicine, the Milton. S. Hershey Medical Center, for supplying the normal and tfm/y mice and to Mr. J. Illari and Mr. R. Santos for their photographic services.

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Chung, K.W., Hamilton, J.B. Testicular lipids in mice with testicular feminization. Cell Tissue Res. 160, 69–80 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00219842

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Key words

  • Testicular feminization
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Leydig cells
  • Sertoli cells
  • Lipids