Journal of anatomy

Morphological and histochemical characteristics of the lamina propria in scrotal and abdominal testes from postpubertal boars: correlation with the appearance of the seminiferous epithelium.

PMID 11693304


This study was undertaken to investigate the morphological characteristics and lectin affinity of the testicular lamina propria in healthy boars and in unilateral and bilateral abdominal cryptorchid boars. The lamina propria of scrotal testes from healthy boars and unilateral cryptorchid boars was constituted by an innermost noncellular layer, the basal lamina, and by 2 layers of peritubular cells, each separated by a fibrous layer. The noncellular layers contained collagen fibres and glycoconjugates with abundant N-acetylgalactosamine, galactose, fucose, N-acetylglucosamine and neuraminic acid residues. The inner peritubular cell layer was composed of myoid cells, the outer layer of fibroblasts. In the abdominal testes of unilateral and bilateral cryptorchid boars, the lamina propria of nondegenerating and degenerating seminiferous tubules appeared thickened due to an increased content of collagen fibres and glycoconjugates. Glycoconjugates showed decreased amounts of fucose, neuraminic acid and galactose, and increased amounts of N-acetylglucosamine residues. The basal lamina formed infoldings toward the seminiferous epithelium and contained small cells. Both inner and outer peritubular cells were fibroblasts of immature appearance. In degenerated seminiferous tubules of bilateral cryptorchid boars, the lamina propria was composed of a thickened and collagenised basal lamina, without peritubular cells and with a low content of glycoconjugates. In scrotal testes, therefore, the lamina propria was implicated in tubular contractility and in mediating the communication and the substrate diffusion between seminiferous tubules and interstitial tissue. Cryptorchidism induced morphological and histochemical alterations in the lamina propria of abdominal testes, which may be linked to evidence from other studies of lack of tubular contractility and defective cell-cell communication and substrate diffusion. The severity of these anomalies correlated with the severity of Sertoli cell alterations.

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