DOG1 immunohistochemical staining of testicular biopsies is a reliable tool for objective assessment of infertility

Rasha Salama, Khaleel I. Al-Obaidy, Carmen M. Perrino, David Grignon, Thomas Ulbright, Muhammad Idrees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Testicular biopsy may be a component of the work-up of male infertility. However, no reliable diagnostic tools are available for objective quantitative assessment of spermatogenic cells. It is well known that MAGE-A4 is selectively expressed in spermatogonia and our group has previously demonstrated that DOG1 differentially stains germ cells. Therefore, we performed DOG1 and a double stain cocktail (DOG1 and 57b murine monoclonal anti-MAGE-A4) immunohistochemical stains on 40 testicular infertility biopsies (10 each with active spermatogenesis, Sertoli cell-only, hypospermatogenesis, and maturation arrest), 25 benign seminiferous tubules from radical orchiectomies, and 5 spermatocytic tumors (ST). In biopsies/resections with active spermatogenesis, DOG1 stained spermatocytes and spermatids and was absent in spermatogonia, while MAGE-A4 stained spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes (weak). In hypospermatogenesis, DOG1 highlighted decreased spermatocytes/spermatids and MAGE-A4 highlighted decreased spermatogonia. DOG1 staining confirmed decreased to absent spermatocytes in maturation arrest and MAGE-A4 staining established the presence of preserved spermatogonia in all cases. All STs were negative for DOG1 and positive for MAGE-A4, while all Sertoli cell-only cases were negative for DOG1 and the double stain cocktail. In conclusion, we confirmed that DOG1 is expressed in spermatocytes and spermatids and MAGE-A4 highlights primarily spermatogonia. Usage of these stains facilitates confirmation of maturation arrest, assessment of the percentage of testis involvement in hypospermatogenesis and identification of mixed patterns. Finally, this study supports that the differentiation of STs is more closely related to spermatogonia than the more mature spermatocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • DOG1
  • Infertility assessment
  • MAGE-A4
  • Testicular biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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