Diabetes mellitus affects a large number of men of reproductive age and it usually leads to serious reproductive disorders. However, the underlying mechanisms and specific therapies still remain largely unknown. We observed Leydig cell loss in the testes of diabetic mice. Continuous high glycemic status of testes stimulated expression of Caspase12, Grp78, and Chop, the three ERS response factors; this might induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of Leydig cells in response to ERS. In these diabetic mouse models, melatonin alleviated apoptosis of testicular stromal cell induced by ERS, and promoted SSCs self-renewal by recovering Leydig cells secretion of CSF1 after 8 weeks of treatment. To explore the relationship between CSF-1 and ERS in Leydig cells, we treated Leydig tumor cell line with an activator Tuniamycin and an inhibitor 4-Phenylbutyrate of ERS. Our data showed that the CSF-1 expression in mouse Leydig cell lines decreased six-fold while reversely increasing five-fold in the 4-Phenylbutyrate-treated group. Thus, melatonin likely alleviates the loss of Leydig cells in diabetic testes and provides a healthier niche for SSCs to self-renew and continually provide healthy sperm for male fertility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research