A meiotic switch in lysosome activity supports spermatocyte development in young flies but collapses with age
Gamete development ultimately influences animal fertility. Identifying mechanisms that direct gametogenesis, and how they deteriorate with age, may inform ways to combat infertility. Recently, we found that lysosomes acidify during oocyte maturation in , suggesting that a meiotic switch in lysosome activity promotes female germ-cell health. Using , we report that lysosomes likewise acidify in male germ cells during meiosis. Inhibiting lysosomes in young-male testes causes E-cadherin accumulation and loss of germ-cell partitioning membranes. Notably, analogous changes occur naturally during aging; in older testes, a reduction in lysosome acidity precedes E-cadherin accumulation and membrane dissolution, suggesting one potential cause of age-related spermatocyte abnormalities. Consistent with lysosomes governing the production of mature sperm, germ cells with homozygous-null mutations in lysosome-acidifying machinery fail to survive through meiosis. Thus, lysosome activation is entrained to meiotic progression in developing sperm, as in oocytes, and lysosomal dysfunction may instigate male reproductive aging.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Butsch, T. J., Dubuisson, O., Johnson, A. E., & Bohnert, K. A. (2022). A meiotic switch in lysosome activity supports spermatocyte development in young flies but collapses with age. iScience, 25 (6), 104382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.104382