In the electronmicroscope, atrophy of the Leydig cells was a predominant feature of 14 biopsies of cryptorchial testes from infants operated before the age of 12 months. In order to elucidate the pathogenesis leading to this atrophy mice were injected on the 14th day of pregnancy with 5 mg oestradiol. This resulted in cryptorchidism of the fetus and an atrophy of the Leydig cells similar to that observed in children with undescended testes in the first year of life. Weight and testosterone content of the testes was compared between treated and untreated mice on the 1st day after delivery and 7 and 14 months later. The mean testosterone content in newborn controls was 0.20 ng/testis, as compared to 0.13 ng/testis in treated animals. Similarily in animals treated, 7 and 14 months after birth the mean testosterone concentration was diminished 19 ng/testis (control 72,5 ng/testis). Thus a permanent impairment of Leydig cell function suggests disturbance in the gonadotropin system. Simultaneous administration of HCG and oestrogen at the 14th day of pregnancy prevented atrophy of Leydig cells in newborn animals. If impaired intrauterine gonadotropin secretion proves to be the main, cause of cryptorchidism, a prologued treatment could favourably affect the testicular function.
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Hadziselimovic, F., Herzog, B. & Girard, J. 81: Impaired interauterine gonadotropin secretion as an etiological component of cryptorchidism. Pediatr Res 10, 883 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-197610000-00072
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