(W369) CHARACTERIZATION OF THE SUBFERTILITY DEFECT OF MALE LUNATIC FRINGE MICE.
Hahn, Katherine 1, Howard, Sheena1, Beres, Brian1, Chang, Yung1, Wilson-Rawls, Jeanne1, 1 Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
ABSTRACT- Lunatic fringe (Lfng) is an important modifier of Notch, and Lfng-deficient females are infertile due to a defect in meiotic maturation. The fertility of male Lfng-/- mice was therefore investigated. Mating studies demonstrated reduced numbers of copulatory plugs and fewer pregnancies post-copulation when compared to heterozygous littermates. Manic fringe (Mfng) and Radical fringe (Rfng) were detected in prepubertal testis and Lfng and Rfng were detected in adult testis by semi-quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. These data were confirmed using in situ hybridization done using gene specific probes. Lfng was expressed in Sertoli cells and spermatogonia, while Rfng was found to be expressed in the germ cells and spermatogonia. Mfng was restricted to the vasculature. Since, Lfng-/- mice have spinal defects that may affect mating, their fertility was further examined by in vitro fertilization (IVF) using Lfng+/- eggs. While there was no difference in the number of fertilized eggs the Lfng-/- embryos did not develop comparably to littermate controls [7.4% advanced to 2-cell and 2.3% to the 4-cell]. Sperm counts from Lfng-/- males ranged from no sperm production to 3.45 x 107/mL. Histological and morphological analysis Lfng-/- reproductive tract demonstrated a range of defects at the histological level of both the testis and epididymis. also. FACS analysis demonstrated no difference in aneuploidy.
KEY WORDS: testis, Lunatic Fringe, mice