Stem Cell Factor Receptor Immunoexpression in Adolescent Varicocele
Vol. 17 No. 4 (2020),
24 June 2020
Purpose: Stem cell factor receptor (c-kit) plays a crucial role in regulating proliferation and survival of germ cells. The aim of this study was to find the correlation between the number of c-kit positive germ cells, testicular asymmetry and histological grade in varicocele affected testis samples of adolescents.
Materials and Methods: Twenty testicular biopsy samples of adolescents affected by varicocele and eight normal control testes were included. The relationship between percentage of testicular asymmetry, number of tubular c-kit positive germ cells and severity of spermatogenic failure was assessed.
Results: The mean (SD; median) histological grade for spermatogenic failure in controls was 1.37(0.52; 1), while in the varicocele group, it was 2.70(1.08; 3) (P = .0052). Mean(SD; median) number c-kit positive germ cells in the control group were 20.1(2.52; 20), while in the varicocele group it was 12.35(7.16; 12.5) (P = .0059). Spearman test documented a significant positive correlation between percentage of hypotrophy and histological grade of spermatogenic failure (r = 0.5544 , 95% CI: 0.1345 to 0.8055, P = .0112) but a negative correlation with the number of c-kit positive cells (r = - 0.5871, 95% CI: - 0.8219 to -0.1817, P = .0065). Moreover, a significant negative correlation was found between grade of histological changes and number of c-kit positive germ cells (P < .0001).
Conclusion: A significant correlation between hypotrophy, histological lesions and c-kit positive germ cells exists in varicocele testes. This finding suggests a possible role for c-kit in the pathogenesis of germ cell impairment in varicocele. Histological changes and lack of c-kit germ cells were also noted in testes not displaying hypotrophy. We believe that reliable markers should be found as better predictors of testicular function in adolescent with varicocele.
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