Protective Mechanisms in Germ Cells: Stress Proteins in Spermatogenesis
A wide range of environmental exposures trigger protective mechanisms in reproductive tissues which are mediated by stress or heat shock proteins (HSPs). These stress proteins maintain normal cellular functions such as protein synthesis, as well as assist in resisting and recovering from toxicant-induced cellular damage. Over the past decade a number of laboratories have examined the expression and potential functions of these stress proteins during gametogenesis (reviewed in Dix, 1997a) and in reproductive toxicology (Dix, 1997b). This paper reviews the expression of HSPs in testes, presents a detailed analysis of the function of Hsp70-2 during the meiotic phase of spermatogenesis, and concludes with a discussion of stress-inducible HSPs and putative protective mechanisms.
KeywordsHeat Shock Protein Sertoli Cell Stress Protein Synaptonemal Complex Meiotic Prophase
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