Possible germ cell-Sertoli cell interactions are critical for establishing appropriate expression levels for the Sertoli cell-specific MicroRNA, miR-202-5p, in human testis.
To examine human microRNA expression in fertile men and subsequently to compare expression patterns of miRNAs in fertile and infertile men, specifically men with Sertoli Cell Only (SCO) histopathology.
Testicular tissues from men with azoospermia and SCO, as well as those of men with normal spermatogenesis, were analyzed. MicroRNA was isolated using the miRCURY™ RNA Purification Kit. A miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT system was used for detection of microRNA by quantitative real-time PCR. MicroRNA localization was performed by in situ hybridizations (ISH) on formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue utilizing miRCURY LNA™ microRNA ISH technology. Statistical analysis was performed by GenEx V5.0.
MicroRNA expression was determined for 13 normal fertile men and 5 men with the confirmed diagnosis of diffuse SCO. MiR-202-5p expression was reduced by 17-fold (P < 0.00001) in tissue from SCO men compared to normal. MiR-34c-5p was reduced by 346-fold (P < 0.00001), miR-10b was reduced 18-fold (P < 0.00001), miR-191 was reduced 20-fold (P = 0.001) and miR-126 was reduced 40-fold (P < 0.00001)) in tissues from SCO compared to normal fertile men. Using ISH, miR-202-5p was localized to Sertoli cells of men with normal spermatogenesis, but not in the Sertoli cells of men with SCO.
Number of miRNAs are differentially expressed in normal fertile men compared to men with SCO. MicroRNA-202-5p is localized to Sertoli cells and its expression dramatically differs between fertile men and men whose germ cells are depleted, suggesting a novel interaction for regulating microRNA expression between the somatic and germ cell components of the seminiferous epithelium.