Evaluation of apoptotic- and autophagic-related protein expressions before and after IVM of fresh, slow-frozen and vitrified pre-pubertal mouse testicular tissue - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Molecular Human Reproduction Year : 2017

Evaluation of apoptotic- and autophagic-related protein expressions before and after IVM of fresh, slow-frozen and vitrified pre-pubertal mouse testicular tissue


STUDY QUESTION: Do freezing and in vitro culture procedures enhance the expression of proteins involved in apoptotic or autophagic pathways in murine pre-pubertal testicular tissue? SUMMARY ANSWER: IVM strongly modified apoptosis- and autophagy-related relative protein levels in mice testicular tissue whereas the impact of cryopreservation procedures was minimal at the end of the culture. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: In vitro spermatogenesis remains a challenging technical issue as it imposes to find a very close balance between survival and death of germ cell natural precursors (i.e. gonocytes and spermatogonia), which will eventually undergo a complete spermatogenesis close to in vivo conditions. The establishment of efficient culture conditions coupled with suitable cryopreservation procedures (e.g. controlled slow freezing [CSF] and solid surface vitrification [SSV]) of pre-pubertal testicular tissue is a crucial step in the fields of fertility preservation and restoration to improve the spermatic yield obtained in vitro. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Here, we study cryopreservation procedures (i.e. CSF or SSV) and the impact of culture media compositions. A first set of 66 mouse pre-pubertal testes were directly cultured during 30, 36, 38 and 60 days (D) from 2.5 to 6.5-day-old CD-1 mice to evaluate the impact of time-aspect of culture and to endorse the reverse phase protein microarrays (RPPM) technique as an adapted experimental tool for the field of in vitro spermatogenesis. Ninety others fresh, slow-frozen and vitrified pre-pubertal testes were cultured during 30 days for the principal study to evaluate the impact of cryopreservation procedures before and after culture. Thirty-four testes dissected from 2.5, 6.5, 36.5, 40.5, 42.5 and 62.5 days postpartum (dpp) mice, corresponding to the time frames of spermatogenesis orchestrated in vitro, were used as in vivo controls. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: After in vitro culture, testicular tissue samples originated from 2.5 or 6.5-day-old CD-1 male mice were analyzed using RPPM. This targeted proteomic technique allowed us to assess the expression level of 29 apoptosis- and autophagy-related factors by normalizing blank-corrected signal values. In addition, morphological analyses (e.g. HES, PAS, TRA98 and CREM) and DNA fragmentation in intra-tubular cells (i.e. terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling; TUNEL) were assessed for the distinct experimental conditions tested as well as for in vivo control mouse testes. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: A validation of the RPPM procedure in the field of in vitro spermatogenesis was completed with assay and array robustness before a principal study concerning the evaluation of the impact of in vitro culture and cryopreservation procedures. The proportion of elongated spermatids and the total cell number per seminiferous tubule tended to be very different between the in vivo and in vitro conditions (P < 0.05), suggesting the presence of a beneficial regulation on the first spermatogenesis wave by intrinsic apoptosis (Caspase₉) and autophagy (Atg5) factors (P < 0.0003 and r2 = 0.74). Concerning the impact of culture media compositions, a basic medium (BM) composed of αMEM plus 10% KnockOut™ serum replacement and gentamicin supplemented with retinol (Rol) and vitamin E (Vit. E) was selected as the best culture medium for fresh 6.5 dpp tissue cultured during 30D with 27.7 ± 8.10% of seminiferous tubules containing elongated spermatids. Concerning the impact of cryopreservation procedures, SSV did not have any impact on the morphological parameters evaluated after culture in comparison to fresh tissue (FT) controls. The proportion of tubules with elongated spermatids on testicular explants cultured with BMRol+Vit. E was not different between SSV (6.6 ± 1.6%) and CSF (5.3 ± 1.9%); however, round spermatids were observed more frequently for SSV (19 ± 6.2%) than CSF (3.3 ± 1.9%, P = 0.0317). Even if the proportion of TUNEL-positive cells for BMRol+Vit. E was higher at D30 after SSV (4.12 ± 0.26%) than CSF (1.86 ± 0.12%, P = 0.0022) and FT (2.69 ± 0.33%, P = 0.0108), the DNA damages observed at the end of the culture (i.e. D30) were similar to respective 6.5 dpp controls. In addition, the relative protein level expression ratio of an apoptotic factor, the phosphorylated FADD on Fas, was reduced by 64-fold in vitrified testes cultured with BMRol+Vit. E. Furthermore, we found in this study that the StemPro®-34 SFM culture medium supplemented with growth factors (e.g. EGF, bFGF, GDNF and LIF) prevented the differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells in favor of a significant proliferation with a better architectural pattern than in vivo 6.5 dpp controls with an increase of seminiferous tubules area for FT (P = 0.0357) and CSF (P = 0.0317). LIMITATIONS REASONS FOR CAUTION: Despite our promising results, the evaluation of apoptotic- and autophagic-related proteins was studied for a limited amount of proteins and on global testicular tissue. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The data presented herein will help to improve apoptotic and autophagic understanding during the first spermatogenic wave. Moreover, our findings illustrate for the first time that, using finely-tuned experimental conditions, a testicular in vitro culture combined with proteomic technologies may significantly facilitate the study of cryopreservation procedures and in vitro culture evaluations. This study may also contribute to improve work on testicular tissues from pre-pubertal and adolescent cancer survivors. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was supported by a Ph.D. grant from the Rouen Normandie Université and a financial support from 'la Ligue nationale contre le cancer' (both awarded to L.D.), funding from Institute for Research and Innovation in Biomedicine (IRIB), Agence de la Biomédecine, and co-supported by European Union and Région Normandie. Europe gets involved in Normandie with European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Dates and versions

hal-01647081 , version 1 (24-11-2017)



L. Dumont, F. Chalmel, A. Oblette, B. Berby, A. Rives, et al.. Evaluation of apoptotic- and autophagic-related protein expressions before and after IVM of fresh, slow-frozen and vitrified pre-pubertal mouse testicular tissue. Molecular Human Reproduction, 2017, 23 (11), pp.738-754. ⟨10.1093/molehr/gax054⟩. ⟨hal-01647081⟩
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