Aged testes undergo profound histological and morphological alterations leading to a reduced functionality. Here, we investigated whether variations in longevity affect the development of local inflammatory processes, the oxidative state and the occurrence of apoptotic events in the testis. To this aim, well-established mouse models with delayed (growth hormone releasing hormone-knockout and Ames dwarf mice) or accelerated (growth hormone-transgenic mice) aging were used.

We hereby show that the testes of short-lived mice show a significant increase in cyclooxygenase 2 expression, PGD2 production, lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzymes expression, local macrophages and TUNEL-positive germ cells numbers, and the levels of both pro-caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-3. In contrast, although the expression of antioxidant enzymes remained unchanged in testes of long-lived mice, the remainder of the parameters assessed showed a significant reduction.

This study provides novel evidence that longevity confers anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic capacities to the adult testis. Oppositely, short-lived mice suffer testicular inflammatory, oxidative and apoptotic processes.