Testicular blood supply is altered in the 41,XXY* Klinefelter syndrome mouse model

Joachim Wistuba, Cristin Beumer, Ann Sophie Warmeling, Reinhild Sandhowe-Klaverkamp, Jörg Stypmann, Michael Kuhlmann, Richard Holtmeier, Oliver S. Damm, Frank Tüttelmann, Jörg Gromoll
Scientific Reports2020
Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism is a major feature of Klinefelter syndrome (KS), assumed to be caused by testicular hormone resistance. It was previously shown that intratesticular testosterone levels in vivo and Leydig cell function in vitro seem to be normal indicating other functional constraints. We hypothesized that impaired testicular vascularization/blood flow could be a co-factor to the observed hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. We evaluated the testicular vascular system by measuring blood vessel sizes during postnatal development and testis blood flow in adult 41,XXY* mice. Proportional distribution and size of blood vessels were analyzed during testicular development (1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 21 dpp, 15 wpp). While ratios of the vessel/testis area were different at 15 wpp only, a lower number of smaller and mid-sized blood vessels were detected in adult KS mice. For testicular blood flow determination we applied contrast enhanced ultrasound. Floating and reperfusion time for testicular blood flow was increased in 41,XXY* mice (floating: XY* 28.8 ± 1.69 s vs XXY* 44.6 ± 5.6 s, p = 0.0192; reperfusion XY* 19.7 ± 2.8 s vs XXY*: 29.9 ± 6.2 s, p = 0.0134), indicating a diminished blood supply. Our data strengthen the concept that an impaired vascularization either in conjunction or as a result of altered KS testicular architecture contributes to hormone resistance.

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