Endocrinology Journal Article

Testosterone Supplementation in Kiss1 KO Male Mice

September 21, 2020
 

Teppei Goto, Masumi Hirabayashi, Youki Watanabe, Makoto Sanbo, Koichi Tomita, Naoko Inoue, Hiroko Tsukamura, Yoshihisa Uenoyama
Endocrinology, Volume 161, Issue 9, September 2020, bqaa092
https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa092

Abstract

Restoration of spermatogenesis and fertility is a major issue to be solved in male mammals with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Kiss1 knockout (KO) male mice are postulated to be a suitable animal model to investigate if hormonal replacement rescues spermatogenesis in mammals with this severe reproductive hormone deficiency, because KO mice replicate the hypothalamic disorder causing hypogonadism. The present study investigated whether testosterone supplementation was able to restore spermatogenesis and in vitro fertilization ability in Kiss1 KO mice. To this end, spermatogenesis, in vitro fertilization ability of Kiss1 KO sperm, and preimplantation development of wild-type embryos inseminated with Kiss1 KO sperm, were examined. The newly generated Kiss1 KO male mice showed infertility with cryptorchidism. Subcutaneous testosterone supplementation for 6 weeks restored plasma and intratesticular testosterone levels, elicited testicular descent, and induced complete spermatogenesis from spermatocytes to elongated spermatids in the testis, resulting in an increase in epididymal sperm number in testosterone-supplemented Kiss1 KO male mice. Epididymal sperm derived from the testosterone-supplemented Kiss1 KO mice showed normal in vitro fertilization ability, and the fertilized eggs showed normal preimplantation development, while the males failed to impregnate females. These results suggest that the failure of spermatogenesis in Kiss1 KO mice is mainly due to a lack of testosterone production, and that Kiss1 KO sperm are capable of fertilizing eggs if the animals receive the appropriate testosterone supplementation without local kisspeptin signaling in the testis and epididymis. Thus, testosterone supplementation would restore spermatogenesis of male mammals showing hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with genetic inactivation of the KISS1/Kiss1 gene.

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