Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wise, Dwayne A.

Committee Member

Reichert, Nancy A.

Committee Member

Coats, Karen

Committee Member

Donaldson, Janet R.

Committee Member

Ryan, Peter L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences


Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are thought to arise during early embryogenesis due to the arrest of germ cell differentiation at primordial germ cells (PGCs) or gonocytes. Oxidative stress (OS) is implicated in cancer development as a factor leading to DNA damage. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) -induced instability occurs as a series of progressive steps. The cell has several defense mechanisms against the deleterious effect of ROS (e.g. antioxidants and DNA repair). When the defense mechanisms are exhausted by increasing OS, DNA damage leads to genomic instability with subsequent mutations that can be transmitted during cell division. On the other hand, male infertility is a representation of testicular dysgenesis syndrome, which carries a risk for TGCTs development. The mechanisms underlying both TGCTs and male infertility are thought to be overlapping to some extent. The central hypothesis of this work is that OS induces germ line genomic instability leading to testicular germ cell tumors. To test this hypothesis, mouse germ cell lines were established and subjected to different doses of OS in the form of H2O2. The mutation frequency was associated with the treatment dose 2 uM at days 3, 6, and 9 (p<0.001, p<0.001, and p<0.0003, respectively). The mBAT27 marker showed a mutation frequency fitting quadratic response surface regression. The mutation frequencies pointed to the possible role of OS leading to accumulation of DNA damage and initiating events that lead to TGCTs development that may occur early in life, possibly during the prenatal period. In addition, different panels of microsatellite markers from across the genome were analyzed to test for differential instability in both somatic cells and germline cells. Blood and semen samples from 18 infertile patients and 7 ethnically matched controls were used. Microsatellite markers were selected; 26 on the Y chromosome, 16 on the X chromosome, and 20 on different autosomes. Microsatellite instability was detected in markers located near genes responsible for testis development, spermatogenesis, cell differentiation, and proteins involved in mismatch repair mechanisms. This supports the hypothesis that testicular germ cell tumors may arise during early embryogenesis through acquiring multiple mutations that accumulate over time.



Testicular germ cell tumor||male infertility||microsatellite instability||ROS||DNA repair||Genomic instability||DNA purification||germ cells