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Transient Scrotal Hyperthermia Induces Lipid Droplet Accumulation and Reveals a Different ADFP Expression Pattern between the Testes and Liver in Mice
Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012
Author: Mingxi Liu et al.

by Mingxi Liu, Lin Qi, Yan Zeng, Yang Yang, Ye Bi, Xiaodan Shi, Hui Zhu, Zuomin Zhou, Jiahao Sha


In most mammals, the testes provide a stable environment for spermatogenesis, which depends on a lower temperature than the core body temperature. It has been reported that mild testicular heating safely and reversibly suppresses spermatogenesis, and is under consideration for its potential application as a male contraceptive. Previously, we focused on the molecular mechanism of germ cell apoptosis and anti-apoptotic factors induced by heat treatment in humans and mice. However, the recovery process remains under investigation.


In this study, we found that lipid droplets in mouse testes are dramatically increased after a brief period of scrotal hyperthermia, and gradually dissipate following temperature normalization. Analysis of the human testis proteome revealed nine proteins associated with lipid droplets. Two of them, ADFP (also known as ADRP and PLIN2) and TIP47 (also known as PLIN3) may participate in acute lipid droplet formation in mammalian testes. We show that Adfp expression is upregulated after scrotal heat treatment in mice. Surprisingly, we find Adfp lacking its 5'-UTR is observed in Adfp?1/?1 mouse testes, but is not detectable in liver.


These results reveal testis Adfp transcriptional regulation is tissue-specific, and is associated with lipid droplet accumulation induced by heat. The results also indicate that the testes could retain functional proteins through testes-specific transcriptional regulation.