Expressional Profiling of Molecules Associated with Epigenetic Methylation-Related Fertility in the Rat Testis during Postnatal Period

  • Seo, Hee-Jung (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Eulji University) ;
  • Lee, Seong-Kyu (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Eulji University) ;
  • Baik, Haing-Woon (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Eulji University) ;
  • Lee, Ki-Ho (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Eulji University)
  • Received : 2012.06.02
  • Accepted : 2012.06.20
  • Published : 2012.06.30


The male reproduction is precisely controlled by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. These factors usually involve in expressional regulation of various molecules influencing on sperm production in the testis. A number of ways are employed to control the transcription of specific genes, including epigenetic modifications of DNA and histone molecules. DNA methylation of CpG dinucleotides is a commonly used regulatory mechanism for testicular genes associated with the fertility. Previous studies have demonstrated the infertility induced by improper DNA methylation of these genes. In the present research, we attempted to determine transcriptional expression of some of these genes in the rat testis at different postnatal ages using real-time PCR analysis. These genes include neurotrophin 3 (Ntf3), insulin-like growth factor II (Igf2), JmjC-domain-containing histone demethylase 2A 1 (Jhm2da), paired box 8 transcription factor (Pax8), small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N (Snrpn), and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (Mthfr). The expression levels of Ntf3, Igf2, and Snrpn genes were the highest at the neonatal age, followed by transient decreases at the prepubertal age. Expression of Jhm2da and Mthfr genes were continuously increased from the neonate to 1 year of age. The levels of Pax8 mRNA at the early ages were higher than those at the later ages of postnatal development. These findings suggest that expression of some fertility-associated testicular genes in the rat during postnatal period could be differentially regulated by the control of the degree of DNA methylation.


Testis;DNA methylation;Fertility;Gene expression;Postnatal development


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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