Complex gangliosides are essential in spermatogenesis of mice: Possible roles in the transport of testosterone

Kogo Takamiya, Akihito Yamamoto, Keiko Furukawa, Jinmin Zhao, Satoshi Fukumoto, Shuji Yamashiro, Masahiko Okada, Masashi Haraguchi, Masashi Shin, Masao Kishikawa, Hiroshi Shiku, Shinichi Aizawa, Koichi Furukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Mice, homozygous for disrupted ganglioside GM2/GD2 synthase (EC gene and lacking all complex gangliosides, do not display any major neurologic abnormalities. Further examination of these mutant mice, however, revealed that the males were sterile and aspermatogenic. In the seminiferous tubules of the mutant mice, a number of multinuclear giant cells and vacuolated Sertoli cells were observed. The levels of testosterone in the serum of these mice were very low, although testosterone production equaled that produced in wild-type mice. Testosterone was found to be accumulated in interstitial Leydig cells, and intratesticularly injected testosterone was poorly drained in seminiferous fluid in the mutant mice. These results suggested that complex gangliosides are essential in the transport of testosterone to the seminiferous tubules and bloodstream from Leydig cells. Our results provide insights into roles of gangliosides in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12147-12152
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Oct 13 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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