Degeneration of sertoli and spermatogenic cells in homozygous and heterozygous weaver mice

T. Verina, X. Tang, L. Fitzpatrick, J. Norton, C. Vogelweid, B. Ghetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


In the neurological mutant mouse weaver (wv/wv), the majority of males are infertile due to hypospermatogenesis. Heterozygous weaver mice (wv/+ cease mating successfully when males reach an average age of 3.5 months. The contents of epididymal fluid were scored for the number of sperm and sperm motility in wv/wv, wv/+ and controls. Testes were examined in mice of the three genotypes at various ages using light and electron microscopy. In wv/+ males, sperm counts were significantly lower than in controls and were significantly higher than in wv/wv. The seminiferous epithelium in weaver mice appears depleted soon after puberty and a wide range of degenerative changes was identified in both germ cells and Sertoli cells. Analogous cellular aberrations were detected in heterozygous males, but they appeared at an older age and were not as severe as in wv/wv. We hypothesize that in weaver homo- and heterozygosity the damage of Sertoli cells may induce degeneration of germinal cells and particularly affect the most advanced spermatogenic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neurogenetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Fertility
  • Light and electron microscopy
  • neurological mutant
  • Recessive and dominant weaver effects
  • Seminiferous epithelium
  • Sertoli cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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