A possible role for a low molecular weight peptide in regulation of testosterone production by rat Leydig cells.
ABSTRACT Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of Percoll purified Leydig cell proteins from 20- and 120-day-old rats revealed a significant decrease in a low molecular weight peptide in the adult rats. Administration of human chorionic gonadotropin to immature rats resulted in a decrease in the low molecular weight peptide along with increase in testosterone production. Modulation of the peptide by human chorionic gonadotropin could be confirmed by Western blotting. The presence of a similar peptide could be detected by Western blotting in testes of immature mouse, hamster, guinea pig but not in adrenal, placenta and corpus luteum. Administration of testosterone propionate which is known to inhibit the pituitary luteinizing hormone levels in adult rats resulted in an increase in the low molecular weight peptide, as checked by Western blotting. It is suggested that this peptide may have a role in regulation of acquisition of responsiveness to luteinizing hormone by immature rat Leydig cells.