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Castration increases cell damage induced by porphyrins in the Harderian gland of male Syrian hamster. Necrosis and not apoptosis mediates the subsequent cell death



Castration increases cell damage induced by porphyrins in the Harderian gland of male Syrian hamster. Necrosis and not apoptosis mediates the subsequent cell death



Journal of Structural Biology 116(3): 377-389



It is known that the Harderian gland of male Syrian hamster synthesizes a much smaller amount of porphyrins than the gland of the female and that castration greatly increases this synthesis. We have studied in this experimental model the behavior of the different classes of secretory cells and their role in the synthesis of porphyrins, attempting to clarify the participation of these compounds in the cell damage leading to the formation of clear cells previously described in the gland of females. We have also investigated the mechanism underlying the death of these secretory cells after porphyrin accumulation (necrosis vs apoptosis). To achieve this, we have utilized the following techniques: (a) morphometrical; (b) ultrastructural; (c) biochemical (fluorescence spectrophotometry); and (d) molecular (DNA nick-end labeling in methacrylate sections and dot blot analysis). The glands from male hamsters (serving as control) present a very low rate of damaged cells that progressively rises after castration. This rise runs parallel to that of porphyrin synthesis, porphyrin deposits, and the decrease of Type II secretory cells. The damage and subsequent death of the secretory cells in the gland is produced by the deposit of porphyrins in the mitochondrial membrane. This porphyrin accumulation leads to a complete mitochondrial destruction that finally results in cell death and its secretion into the lumen. We finally conclude that this event is not a physiological cell death (apoptosis) but the consequence of the toxic accumulation of porphyrins (necrosis).

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Accession: 008269540

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8812996

DOI: 10.1006/jsbi.1996.0055


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