Regulation and perturbation of testicular functions by vitamin A

in Reproduction
Authors:
G Livera
Search for other papers by G Livera in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
V Rouiller-Fabre
Search for other papers by V Rouiller-Fabre in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
C Pairault
Search for other papers by C Pairault in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
C Levacher
Search for other papers by C Levacher in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
R Habert
Search for other papers by R Habert in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Free access

In addition to playing a fundamental role in very diverse processes such as vision and the growth and differentiation of numerous types of cell, vitamin A (retinol) and its principal biologically active derivative, retinoic acid, are clearly involved in the regulation of testicular functions in rodents. An excess of vitamin A leads to testicular lesions and spermatogenetic disorders, and a deficiency induces early cessation of spermatogenesis and adversely affects testosterone secretion. Furthermore, mice mutant for retinoic acid alpha receptors and retinoid X beta receptors are sterile. Retinoids appear to exert an action on the three main testicular types of cell (Sertoli, germinal and Leydig cells), as they act on the signalling pathways and Sertoli cell metabolism, and modify numerous factors secreted in Sertoli cells. Retinoids also appear to be necessary for the proliferation and differentiation of A spermatogonia, and for spermiogenesis. In addition, vitamin A deficiency leads to atrophy of the accessory sex organs after decreased testosterone production. Recent studies have shown that retinoids already affect these three types of cell in fetuses. Curiously, the effects of retinoids on fetal and adult testis seem opposed.

 

  • Collapse
  • Expand

     An official journal of

    Society for Reproduction and Fertility