The START domain-containing 6 (StarD6) was originally reported to play a role during male germ cell maturation. We have since reported on StarD6 in the developing hypothyroid rat brain. Therefore, we investigated qualitative and quantitative changes of StarD6 in the aging rat brain and testes of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Serum testosterone levels decreased with aging and total protein levels of StarD6 in the testes decreased. While the immunolocalization of StarD6 in the spermatocytes decreased, cytoplasmic localization appeared in the aged testes. Compared with young rats, aged rats showed decreased StarD6 in the cerebrum and cerebellum without changes in immunolocalization in the cortical neurons of the cerebral cortex and Purkinje cells of the cerebellar cortex. Aged rats also showed increases in StarD6 in the hippocampus with changes in its immunolocalization from the Stratum pyramidale to the Stratum radiatum and Stratum lacunosum-moleculare. Taken together, StarD6 decreased with aging in the testes, which implies that StarD6 might play a role in impaired spermatogenesis in the aged rat. StarD6 decreased in the cerebrum and the cerebellum, but slightly increased in the hippocampus, which suggests that StarD6 might also play a role for neurosteroidogenesis in the hippocampus of aged rats.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning ( NRF-2011-0018686 and NRF-2011-0017009 ).