The Blood-Testis Barrier and Male Sexual Dysfunction following Spinal Cord Injury
Annual rept. 30 Sep 2013-29 Sep 2014
TEXAS UNIV HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT HOUSTON
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A majority of males exhibit a profound loss of fertility following spinal cord injury. While the mechanisms underlying this loss have been discussed for decades, recently my lab discovered that spinal trauma produces a significant loss in integrity of the blood-testis-barrier a protective multi-cellular structure that maintains immune privilege of the highly-antigenic sperm and sperm cell-containing compartments within the testis. We also demonstrated that once failed, the BTB remains permeable, essentially for the life of the subject. The goal of our proposal has been two-fold 1 to develop a greater understanding of the molecular, biochemical and structural pathologies underlying BTB breakdown post-SCI, and 2 to determine whether a novel therapeutic, recently identified in our laboratory, can help preserve BTB integrity when introduced during the acute phase of SCI using a clinically-relevant rat spinal contusion model. We have found that the drug, licofelone, preserves blood-spinal cord barrier integrity and enhances locomotor function in rats when given early following injury. During this second year, we have performed all planned spinal cord injuries 24 hour out to 90 day time points collected testis tissues and have sent samples out for metabolomic analysis and gene array studies. We describe metabolomic, genomic and cellular pathologies occurring within the testes after SCI as well as data suggesting a beneficial role of licofelone in attenuating such changes.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research