The possible role of enkephalin in the local control of testicular function was studied in neonatal rats. 5- and 10-day old hemicastrated rats were treated intratesticularly with an enkephalin analog [d-Met2-Pro5]enkephalinamide. In 5-day-old rats local injection of different doses (0.1-0.3 μg/testis) of the peptide suppressed basal testosterone secretion in vitro in a dose-dependent manner 2 h posttreatment. Intratesticular administration of naloxone prior to enkephalin treatment prevented the decrease in basal testosterone production induced by the opioid agonist. In 10-day-old animals intratesticular injection of 1.0 and 3.0 μg/testis of enkephalinamide reduced serum testosterone concentration and basal testosterone secretion in vitro. Systemic injection of the peptide produced no change in steroidogenesis. These results suggest that enkephalins might be among the intratesticular factors regulating Leydig cell functions.
- Neonatal rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience