, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 201–217 | Cite as

Role of cytokines in testicular function

  • Dale Buchanan Hales
  • Thorsten Diemer
  • Karen Held Hales


Inflammatory disease has been established to affect male reproductive function and fertility. Relevant inflammatory diseases include general and chronic infectious diseases as well as localized acute or chronic infections of the male genitourinary tract. Male accessory gland infections account for almost 15% of all cases of male infertility seen in infertility clinics while fertility usually is not a clinical objective among patients with acute systemic infections such as Gramnegatives sepsis. Infections of the male accessory glands frequently are associated with increased counts of white blood cells in semen and elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in semen and the testis. There is a mounting body of evidence that demonstrates the importance of cytokines and chemokines in the regulation of testicular and glandular function during pathophysiological states as well as under normal physiological conditions when cytokines act as growth and differentiation factors. The purpose of this review is to examine the role of cytokines in the regulation of steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis in the testis under physiological and pathophysiological conditions and considers clinical investigations that help to improve the evaluation and treatment of male infertility.

Key words

Steroidogenesis spermatogenesis sepsis inflammatory disease male accessory gland infections orchitis LPS 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale Buchanan Hales
    • 2
  • Thorsten Diemer
    • 2
    • 1
  • Karen Held Hales
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity Hospital of the Justus-Liebig-UniversityGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicago

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