SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Previous trials performed in our laboratory have demonstrated that stainless steel corrosion products induced morphological changes in mice seminiferous cells. In this study the functional nature of the blood-testis barrier was investigated, in view of the extesive use of this metallic alloy in orthopaedic surgery. The uptake of horseradish peroxidase by the seminiferous tubules was used as a tracer method being exposed in vitro for different periods of time and observed at the ultrastructural level. Both boundary cells as well as Sertoli cells of experimental group absorbed the tracer, as manifested by vesicles and vacuoles filled with the reaction product, evidencing its role within the testis. Germ cells were also able in the uptake of this macromolecule. However, the tracer did not spread into the junctional complexes between neighboring Sertoli cells, at any interval of time used in this study, demonstrating the functional integrity of this barrier.