Systemic LPS induces toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) expression and apoptosis in testicular mouse tissue

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  • Lene N Nejsum
  • Adrian Piec, Clinic of Urology and Pediatric Urology, Philipps-University Marburg, Frankfurt, Germany.
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  • Monika Fijak, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Justus-Liebig University Gießen, Giessen, Germany.
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  • Christina V Ernstsen
  • Dania Fischer, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
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  • Thorsten J Maier
  • Ralf Kinscherf, Department of Medical Cell Biology, Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • ,
  • Rainer Hofmann, Clinic of Urology and Pediatric Urology, Philipps-University Marburg, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • ,
  • Anja Urbschat

It is well known that sepsis and inflammation reduce male fertility. Within the testis, toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is constitutively expressed and recognizes double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) from viruses, degraded bacteria, damaged tissues and necrotic cells. To characterize the potential role of TLR3 in response to testicular infections, its expression and downstream signaling were investigated upon challenge with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in two mouse strains that differ in their immuno-competence regarding T cell-regulated immunity. Thereto, Balb/c and Foxn1nu mice were randomized into six interventional groups treated with either i.v. application of saline or LPS followed by 20 min, 5 h 30 min and 18 h of observation and two sham-treated control groups. LPS administration induced a significant stress response; the amplification was manifested for TLR3 and interleukin 6 (IL6) mRNA in the impaired testis 5 h 30 min after LPS injection. TLR3 immunostaining revealed that TLR3 was primarily localized in spermatocytes. The TLR3 expression displayed different temporal dynamics between both mouse strains. However, immunofluorescence staining indicated only punctual interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) expression upon LPS treatment along with minor alterations in interferon beta (IFN beta) mRNA expression. Induction of acute inflammation was closely followed by a significant shift of the Bax/Bcl2 ratio to pro-apoptotic signaling accompanied by augmented TUNEL-positive cells 18 h after LPS injection with again differing patterns in both mouse strains. In conclusion, this study shows the involvement of TLR3 in response to LPS-induced testicular inflammation in immuno-competent and -incompetent mice, yet lacking transmission into its signaling pathway.

TidsskriftCell and Tissue Research
Sider (fra-til)143-154
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2019

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