With the exception of standard inguinal orchidopexy, treatment of cryptorchidism with human chorionic gonadotropin has been performed for several years; however, its side effects have limited its application. The β‑nerve growth factor (NGF) and homeobox A10 (HoxA10) genes are closely associated with the development of the testes. To the best of our knowledge, whether exogenous NGF alters the endogenous levels of NGF and HoxA10 in cryptorchidism in rats remains to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the gene and protein expression of NGF and HoxA10 in experimental cryptorchidism following treatment with exogenous NGF. A unilateral mechanical cryptorchidism model in Sprague-Dawley rats was established and different concentrations of exogenous NGF were administered to observe the effects of NGF on cryptorchidism. Changes in the gene and protein expression levels of NGF and HoxA10 in the cryptorchid tissues of each group were identified using one step reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization with digoxigenin‑labeled‑β‑NGF RNA probes, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The expression levels of NGF and HoxA10 were markedly higher in the group treated with a high dose of exogenous NGF compared with the group treated with a low dose of exogenous NGF and the group treated with human chorionic gonadotropin. These results confirmed the potential therapeutic effect of exogenous NGF in human cryptorchidism.
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