Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1999; 23(4):280-289.

The in vitro Effect of the Tumor Promoter 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-Acetate on Sertoli Cell Morphology

Mirsini Kouloukoussa, Ph.D., Evridiki Panagopoulou, B.S., and Evangelos Marinos, Ph.D.

Department of Histology and Embryology, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: E. Marinos, Ph.D., University of Athens Medical School, Laboratory of Histology and Embryology, M.Asias 75, Goudi 115 27, Athens, Greece.

ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of the well-known tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) on the morphology of cultured Sertoli cells from immature rats. The cells were cultured for 5 days and the TPA was added at the end of the culture period for 8 h at a concentration of 10-7 M. Viability tests showed that controls as well as TPA-treated cells remained viable during the culture period and no deleterious effects were observed as a result. Application of computerized morphometry at both light and electron microscopic levels revealed that TPA caused important changes in cell morphology in vitro. Statistical analysis of the results indicated that compared to the controls, Sertoli cells treated with TPA exhibited fewer astrocytic-type cytoplasmic extensions and a smaller size. Our results support the conclusion that the tumor promoter TPA, when applied to immature Sertoli cells in vitro, causes significant morphological alterations.

KEY WORDS: cultures, morphometry, phorbol esters, .