To compare the effects of testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the maintenance and the restoration of spermatogenesis, hypophysectomized (APX) rats were treated daily for 35 days with 0.5 mg of T propionate (TP) or DHT propionate (DHTP) beginning 5 or 33 days after hypophysectomy. In the maintenance experiment, the weights of the testes and the number of early spermatids were significantly lower in DHTP- than in TP-treated animals, while late spermatids were present only in rats treated with TP. In the restoration experiment, TP increased testicular weight and the number of germinal cells, whereas DHTP had very little effect on the testis. In an attempt to explain these findings, we measured androgen levels in the rete testis fluid (RTF) and peripheral plasma of APX rats treated with TP or DHTP. The concentration of T in the RTF of TP-treated rats was nearly 3-fold higher than the level of DHT in the RTF of animals given DHTP. Plasma T levels measured 1/2 , 2, 4, and 24 hours after the last of three daily injections of TP were considerably higher than were the corresponding plasma DHT levels in animals given DHTP. In animals treated with free steriods, peripheral androgen levels between 1/2 and 4 hours after the last injection were much higher in rats given T than in those given DHT, but thereafter this difference disappeared. We conclude that the difference in the ability of subcutaneously injected TP and DHTP to maintain and to restore spermatogenesis in APX was was due to a difference in androgen levels in the testes of these animals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology