Endocrinology and Immunophysiology

Endocrinology and Immunophysiology Research Group

Research Group Head

microscope2By investigating the unique mechanisms of immunoregulation in the testis and the effects of inflammation and infection on male reproductive function,  Professor Hedger and his team wish to better understand the relationship between the male reproductive tract and the immune system. This will provide them with clues about autoimmune infertility, inflammation, and infections of the male reproductive tract, and may eventually hold the key to the development of male contraceptives and immunotherapeutics for transplant patients.

Research Projects

Research Group

Selected publications

  • Szarek M, Bergmann M, Konrad L, Shuppe HC, Kliesch S, Hedger MP and Loveland KL (2019)  Activin A target genes are differentially expressed between normal and neoplastic adult human testes: clues to gonocyte fate choice. Andrology 7: 31-41.

  • Marini KD, Croucher DR, McCloy RA, Vaghiani V, Gonzalez-Rajal A, Hastings JF, Chin V, Szczepny A, Kostyrko K, Marquez C, Jayasekara WSN, Alamgeer M, Boolell V, Han JZR, Waugh T, Lee HC, Oakes SR, Kumar B, Harrison CA, Hedger MP, Lorensuhewa N, Kita B, Barrow R, Robinson BW, de Kretser DM, Wu J, Ganju V, Sweet-Cordero EA, Burgess A, Martelotto LG, Rossello FJ, Cain JE and Watkins DN (2018)  Inhibition of activin signaling in lung adenocarcinoma increases the therapeutic index of platinum chemotherapy. Science Translational Medicine 10: eaat3504.

  • Wijayarathna R, de Kretser DM, Meinhardt A, Middendorf R, Ludlow H, Groome NP, Loveland KA and Hedger MP (2018)  Activin over-expression in the testis of mice lacking the inhibin α-subunit gene is associated with androgen deficiency and regression of the male reproductive tract. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 470: 188-198.

  • Wijayarathna R, de Kretser DM, Sreenivasan R, Ludlow H, Middendorf R, Meinhardt A, Loveland KA and Hedger MP (2018)  Comparative analysis of activins A and B in the adult mouse epididymis and vas deferens. Reproduction 155: 15-23.

  • Nicolas N, Muir JA, Hayward S, Chen JL, Stanton PG, Gregorevic P, de Kretser DM, Loveland KL, Bhushan S, Meinhardt A, Fijak M and Hedger MP (2017)  Induction of experimental autoimmune orchitis in mice: responses to elevated circulating levels of the activin-binding protein, follistatin.  Reproduction 154: 293-305.

  • Lidbury BA, Kita B, Lewis DP, Hayward S, Ludlow H, Hedger MP and de Kretser DM (2017)  Activin B is a novel biomarker for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) diagnosis: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Translational Medicine 15: 60.

  • Wijayarathna R, Sarraj MA, Genovese R, Girling JE, Michel V, Ludlow H, Loveland KL, Meinhardt A, de Kretser DM and Hedger MP (2017)  Activin and follistatin interactions in the male reproductive tract: activin expression and morphological abnormalities in mice lacking follistatin 288. Andrology 5: 578-588.

  • Nicolas N, Michel V, Bhushan S, Wahle E, Hayward S, Ludlow H, de Kretser DM, Loveland KL, Schuppe HC, Meinhardt A, Hedger MP and Fijak M (2017)  Testicular activin and follistatin levels are elevated during the course of experimental autoimmune epididymo-orchitis in mice. Scientific Reports 7: 42391.

  • Ramaswamy S, Walker WH, Aliberti P, Sethi R, Marshall GR, Smith A, Nourashrafeddin S, Belgorosky A, Chandran UR, Hedger MP and Plant TM (2017)  The juvenile rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) testicular transcriptome and differential gene expression associated with the decision of undifferentiated spermatogonia to commit to the differentiation pathway. Human Reproduction 32: 2088-2100.

  • Michel V, Duan Y, Stoschek E, Bhushan S, Middendorff R, Young JM, Loveland KA, De Kretser DM, Hedger MP and Meinhardt A (2016)  Uropathogenic Escherichia coli cause fibrotic remodelling of the epididymis. Journal of Pathology 240: 15-24.

  • de Kretser DM, Bensley JG, Phillips DJ, Levvey BJ, Snell GI, Lin E, Hedger MP and O’Hehir RE (2016)  Substantial increases occur in serum activins and follistatin during lung transplantation. PLOS One 11: e0140948.

  • Michel V, Pilatz A, Hedger MP and Meinhardt A (2015)  Epididymitis: revelations at the convergence of clinical and basic sciences. Asian Journal of Andrology 17: 756-763.