Adv Pharm Bull. 2015;5(3):373-377.
doi: 10.15171/apb.2015.051
PMID: 26504759
PMCID: PMC4616891
Scopus id: 84983580830
  Abstract View: 343
  PDF Download: 191

Original Research

Aberrant Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway in Testis of Azoospermic Men​

Marefat Ghaffari Novin 1,2, Reza Mirfakhraie 3, Hamid Nazarian 1 *

1 Department of Biology and Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Infertility and Reproductive Health Research Center (IRHRC), Tehran, Iran.
3 Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Purpose: The Importance and key role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in spermatogenesis is known. Abnormalities of this pathway in Sertoli and germ cells leads to infertility. Leydig cells play an important role in spermatogenesis and male reproduction. As of now, exact position of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway disorders in the tissue and possible involvement of Leydig cells has not been investigated.

Methods: Samples of our previous study were used for common Y chromosome microdeletions screening and common CFTR gene mutations.1 β-catenin gene expression were evaluated and compared between testicular tissue obtained by testicular sperm extraction (TESE) in two groups of obstructive (n=10) and non-obstructive (n=10) azoospermic infertile men. Location of β-catenin accumulation was detected by immunofluorescence technic and quantitatively compared in the tissue followed by counterstaining with anti-vimentin antibody. It was used as specific marker of leydig cells to determine and confirm the cells in which this gathering was occurred. Results: β-catenin gene expression does not have a significant difference between the obstructive azoospermia (0.998) and non-obstructive azoospermia group (0.891). β-catenin was abnormally aggregated in leydig cell of non-obstructive azoospermic men.

Conclusion: Gathering β-catenin in cytoplasm of leydig cells can disrupt spermatogenesis and cause infertility in men.

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Submitted: 25 Oct 2014
Revised: 02 Jan 2015
First published online: 19 Sep 2015
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