Immunohistochemical characterization of the anti-Müllerian hormone receptor type 2 (AMHR-2) in human testes.


Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University Hospital of Münster, Albert-Schweitzer Campus 1, 48149, Münster, Germany. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : In males, AMH is secreted by immature Sertoli cells; following exposure to endogenous androgens, Sertoli cells undergo a process of maturation which ultimately inhibits AMH expression to undetectable levels in the serum. However, expression of AMH receptor (AMHR-2) has never been studied in human testes, and high intratubular concentrations of AMH have been reported in recent literature. We therefore assessed expression of AMHR-2 in several testicular tissue samples by immunohistochemistry (IHC).
METHODS : The IHC method was first validated on tissue samples from healthy human testis (n = 2) and from marmoset ovary (n = 1). The same method was then used for assessment on testicular histopathology specimens from patients with mixed atrophy (MA, n = 2), spermatogenetic arrest (SA, n = 2), Sertoli cell-only syndrome (SCO, n = 1), Klinefelter syndrome (KS, n = 1), and nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT, n = 1). Tissue samples from two subjects at different pubertal stages (AndroProtect (AP), aged 5 and 14 years) with hematological malignancies were also retrieved.
RESULTS : In adult men, AMHR-2 was expressed on peritubular mesenchymal cells, with patterns closely mirroring α-smooth muscle actin expression. Similar patterns were preserved in almost all conditions; however, in nonseminomatous germ cell tumors the tissue architecture was lost, including AMHR-2 expression. More positive and diffuse staining was observed in tissue samples from prepubertal testes.
CONCLUSIONS : In specimens from both healthy and affected testes, AMHR-2 expression appears weaker in adult than in prepubertal tissue sections. The persistence of AMHR-2 expression seemingly hints at a possible effect of intratesticular AMH on the tubular walls.



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