EFFECT OF SEASONAL CHANGES ON TESTICULAR MORPHOLOGY AND THE EXPRESSION OF CIRCADIAN CLOCK GENES IN JAPANESE WOOD MICE (APODEMUS SPECIOSUS)

M. Akiyama, S. Takino, Y. Sugano, T. Yamada, A. Nakata, T. Miura, M. Fukumoto, H. Yamashiro

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aimed to determine the seasonality of reproduction throughout the year in Japanese wood mice (Apodemus speciosus). The effect of seasonal changes on testicular morphology and the periodic expression of circadian clock genes in the hypothalamus and testes of male individuals was evaluated. We also examined the morphology of the testes and caudae epididymides of male mice. In addition, RT-PCR analysis was carried out with mRNA extracted from the hypothalamus and testes to evaluate the expression of the circadian clock genes Clock, Bmal1, Per1, and Cry1. The complete induction of testicular activity was detected from February to April and from August to October, with testes weight increasing with the completion of spermatogenesis (reproductive season). From May to early June and from November to early January, testicular weight declined, the seminiferous tubules reduced in size, spermatogenesis was arrested, and sperm were not produced (non-reproductive season). From mid- June to July and mid-January, the re-induction of testicular activity for spermatogenesis was observed in the seminiferous tubules (transitional season). Out of the four examined genes, Cry1 had the highest expression level in both the hypothalamus and testes throughout the year, followed by Bmal1, Per1, and Clock. The expression of Bmal1 was significantly lower in the hypothalamus and testes during the transitional season compared to the reproductive and non-reproductive seasons. Cry1 transcript levels were also significantly lower in the hypothalamus and testes during the transitional season compared to the reproductive season. In conclusion, the results indicating changes in testicular morphology revealed annual reproductive, non-reproductive, and transmission periods in Japanese wood mice. When an increase in testicular activity was observed indicating the onset of the reproductive season, the mean day length was approximately 11–13 h. The expression of the circadian clock genes Bmal1 and Cry1 in the hypothalamus and testes during the reproductive season was significantly higher than that of the same genes during the transitional season. Consequently, completion of spermatogenesis occurred in the seminiferous tubules of Japanese wood mice testes during the reproductive period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-600
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents
Volume29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cancer Research

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