Liposome-entrapped dichloromethylene diphosphonate (Cl2MDP) was injected locally into the right testes of adult rats in order to deplete testicular macrophages. The number of testicular macrophages in the treated testes was reduced by at least 90% at 7 and 14 days after treatment. Unilaterally testicular macrophage-depleted animals were treated with 100 IU human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) subcutaneously and the inflammatory response was compared in the macrophage-depleted and intact contralateral testis. Four hours after hCG treatment, intratesticular testosterone was similarly increased in intact and macrophage-depleted testes. In macrophage-depleted testes there was a large increase in the number of leukocytes in testicular blood vessels and numerous leukocytes had migrated into the interstitial tissue. This response was greater than in the intact contralateral testis. It was concluded that testicular macrophages are probably not the origin of the inflammatory mediator secreted in the rat testis after hCG treatment. On the contrary, it appears that testicular macrophages may secrete factors inhibiting hCG-induced testicular inflammation.
Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 136, 415–420