Testicular germ cell-induced autoimmune orchitis is characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration followed by disturbance of spermatogenesis. Experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO) is an animal model for human immunological male infertility; delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response plays a key role in its induction. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a regulatory cytokine that is critical in preventing organ-specific autoimmune inflammation. To determine the effects on EAO of human IL-10 (hIL-10) gene transfer, C3H/He mice immunized by unilateral testicular injury were administered intramuscular (i.m.) injections of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-encoding hIL-10 on the day of immunization. Serum hIL-10 was detected beginning at 1 week postinjection, and peaked at 3 weeks. Histological examinations showed a significantly low incidence of orchitis and disturbance of spermatogenesis in AAV hIL-10-treated mice, and the DTH response to autologous testicular cells was significantly suppressed. Immunohistochemical analysis of IFN-γ and IL-2, T-cell-associated cytokines, in the spleen and testes revealed significantly fewer cytokine-expressing cells after treatment. We conclude that a single i.m. administration of AAV hIL-10 significantly suppresses EAO and hypospermatogenesis by regulating cell-mediated immunity in the testes.
- Adeno-associated virus
- Delayed-type hypersensitivity
- Experimental autoimmune orchitis
- Male infertility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology