Pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides in the testis: evidence for a possible role in Leydig and Sertoli cell function.

C. Boitani, C. L. Chen, A. N. Margioris, I. Gerendai, P. L. Morris, C. W. Bardin

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Abstract

Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptides such as beta-endorphin, ACTH, and MSHs were identified in the testis where they were exclusively localized in Leydig cells. Examination of testicular extracts by a variety of physicochemical and immunological techniques indicates that the processing of the POMC in the testis is very similar to that in the brain. By using a cDNA probe, the POMC-like mRNA present in total testis and cultured Leydig cells was 150-200 bases shorter than that in the hypothalamus and pituitary. In addition, POMC mRNA was localized to Leydig cells using in situ hybridization. The expression of the POMC-like gene and the accumulation of POMC-derived peptides in Leydig cell were shown to be under the control of gonadotropin. As the testis contains low concentrations of POMC-derived peptides, we suggested that they may be implicated in local regulatory events within this organ. This postulate was supported by results from in vivo and in vitro experiments suggesting that different portions of the POMC-molecule may have opposite effects on Sertoli cell functions. For example, MSHs increased cAMP accumulation and aromatase activity in these cells, while opioids inhibited Sertoli cell proliferation and androgen binding protein (ABP) secretion. Furthermore, following intratesticular administration of opiate antagonists, testosterone production was reduced, suggesting that Leydig cell function may be also modulated by beta-endorphin and/or other related peptides. Taken together, these studies support the hypothesis of a possible role of POMC-derived peptides in testicular function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Biology
Volume63
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1986

Fingerprint

Pro-Opiomelanocortin
Leydig Cells
Sertoli Cells
Testis
Peptides
beta-Endorphin
Opiate Alkaloids
beta-MSH
Androgen-Binding Protein
Immunologic Techniques
Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones
Messenger RNA
Aromatase
Gonadotropins
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Opioid Analgesics
Hypothalamus
In Situ Hybridization
Testosterone
Cultured Cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Boitani, C., Chen, C. L., Margioris, A. N., Gerendai, I., Morris, P. L., & Bardin, C. W. (1986). Pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides in the testis: evidence for a possible role in Leydig and Sertoli cell function. Medical Biology, 63(5-6), 251-258.

Pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides in the testis : evidence for a possible role in Leydig and Sertoli cell function. / Boitani, C.; Chen, C. L.; Margioris, A. N.; Gerendai, I.; Morris, P. L.; Bardin, C. W.

In: Medical Biology, Vol. 63, No. 5-6, 1986, p. 251-258.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boitani, C, Chen, CL, Margioris, AN, Gerendai, I, Morris, PL & Bardin, CW 1986, 'Pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides in the testis: evidence for a possible role in Leydig and Sertoli cell function.', Medical Biology, vol. 63, no. 5-6, pp. 251-258.
Boitani, C. ; Chen, C. L. ; Margioris, A. N. ; Gerendai, I. ; Morris, P. L. ; Bardin, C. W. / Pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides in the testis : evidence for a possible role in Leydig and Sertoli cell function. In: Medical Biology. 1986 ; Vol. 63, No. 5-6. pp. 251-258.
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