12th Ljudevit Jurak International Symposium on
Comparative Pathology
June 1-2, 2001

T. Goluža, D. Ježek, D. Kalafatiæ, Lj. Banek, M. Petanjek, I. Krhen
Medical School University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
AIMS: 1. to determine and to compare testicular volume, status of spermatogenesis (SCORE), length and curvature of seminiferous tubules and number of testicular macrophages in fertile and infertile men; 2. to establish if there is an intercorrelation between this data.
METHODS: Testicular biopsies were divided into a control (10 men who underwent a vasectomy reversal) and an infertile group (45 patients with idiopathic infertility and azoospermia). The testicular volume was determined by an orchidometer and an ultrasound examination in both groups. The status of spermatogenesis was estimated by Johnsen’s modified score system. Applying Weibel’s multipurpose test system with 42 points, length and curvature of the seminiferous tubules and the number and volume of testicular macrophages were calculated. The immunohistochemical and morphometric analysis of macrophages (the expression of KiM1P antigen in cells) was done, and the correlation coefficient of all analysed variables was determined.
RESULTS: Infertile testis had significantly decreased volume and a lower score (status of spermatogenesis) when compared to controls. Testicular tissue of infertile patients has shown significant patohistological changes: the interstitial tissue was sporadically fibrosed and contained much more macrophages; the seminiferous tubules had decreased in diameter; they had seminiferous epithelium in various degrees of degenerative changes;  in some places seminiferous epitehlium was infiltrated with macrophages. The length and curvature of seminiferous tubules per mm3 of the testis tissue were significantly increased  in the infertile group, while the same variables calculated for the entire testis were significantly decreased. The number of macrophages analysed for mm3 of testis tissue was significantly increased. The same variable analysed for the entire testis was significantly reduced. The volume of macrophages in mm3 of testis tissue was significantly larger in the group of infertile men, while the volume of macrophages in the whole testis did not show a significant difference between the compared groups. The results of correlation analysis of the examined variables indicate a significant connection of the relative values (macrophages number and volume) with stereological characteristics of testis expressed in mm3 of tissue. 
CONCLUSION: The population of testicular macrophages of infertile men differs both qualitatively and quantitatively from the macrophages in the testis with a preserved structure and reproductive ability. 


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Poster Presentation