[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proliferating cells express cyclins, cell cycle regulatory proteins that regulate the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). The actions of CDKs are regulated by specific inhibitors, the CDK inhibitors (CDKIs), which are comprised of the Cip/Kip and INK4 families. Expression of the Cip/Kip CDKI 1B (Cdkn1b, encoding protein CDKN1B, also called p27(kip1)) in developing Leydig cells (LCs) has been reported, but the function of CDKN1B in LCs is unclear. The goal of the present study was to determine the effects of CDKN1B on LC proliferation and steroidogenesis by examining these parameters in Cdkn1b knockout (Cdkn1b(-/-)) mice. LC proliferation was measured by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. Testicular testosterone levels, mRNA levels, and enzyme activities of steroidogenic enzymes were compared in Cdkn1b(-/-) and Cdkn1b(+/+) mice. The labeling index of LCs in Cdkn1b(-/-) mice was 1.5% +/- 0.2%, almost 7-fold higher than 0.2% +/- 0.08% (P < 0.001) in the Cdkn1b(+/+) control mice. LC number per testis in Cdkn1b(-/-) mice was 2-fold that seen in the Cdkn1b(+/+) control mice. However, testicular testosterone levels, mRNA levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (Star), cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (Cyp11a1), and 3beta-hydroxtsteroid dehydrogenase 6 (Hsd3b6), and their respective proteins, were significantly lower in Cdkn1b(-/-) mice. We conclude that deficiency of CDKN1B increased LC proliferation, but decreased steroidogenesis. Thus, CDKN1B is an important regulator of LC development and function.
Biology of Reproduction 02/2009; 80(6):1232-8. · 4.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposures to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) have been shown to be associated with decreased adult testosterone (T) levels and increased Leydig cell numbers. As yet, little is known about DEHP effects in utero on fetal Leydig cells (FLC). The present study investigated effects of DEHP on FLC function. Pregnant Long-Evans female rats received vehicle (corn oil) or DEHP at 10, 100, or 750 mg/kg by oral gavage from gestational day (GD)2-20. At GD21, T production, FLC numbers and distribution, and testicular gene expression were examined. The percentage of FLC clusters containing 6-30 cells increased in all treatment groups, with 29 +/- 2% in control vs. 37 +/- 3, 35 +/- 3, and 56 +/- 4% in rats receiving 10, 100, and 750 mg/kg DEHP, respectively. In contrast, FLC numbers were 33% and 39% lower than control after exposures to 100 and 750 mg/kg DEHP, respectively. At these doses, mRNA levels of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) increased. LIF was found to induce cell aggregation in FLCs in vitro, consistent with the hypothesis that DEHP induced FLC aggregation. Testicular T levels were doubled by the 10 mg/kg dose and halved at 750 mg/kg. The mRNA levels of IGF-1 and c-Kit ligand (KITL) were induced by 10 mg/kg DEHP. These results, taken together, indicate that fetal exposures to DEHP have effects on FLC number, distribution, and most importantly, steroidogenic capacity and suggest that abnormal expressions of IGF1, KITL, and LIF genes may contribute to the reproductive toxicity of phthalates.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2008; 105(20):7218-22. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In rats and mice, Leydig cells are formed as two morphologically and functionally different generations. The first generation develops in utero, from undifferentiated stem Leydig cells (SLCs) that differentiate into fetal Leydig cells (FLCs). After birth, SLCs that may differ from the fetal SLCs undergo lineage-specific commitment and give rise to adult Leydig cells (ALCs). The intermediates of ALCs first become apparent by day 11 postpartum. These first-appearing intermediates, progenitor Leydig cells (PLCs), are spindle shaped and identifiable as steroidogenic because they express luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3betaHSD). The next step in the transition of PLCs to ALCs is the appearance of the immature Leydig cells (ILCs), most commonly seen in the testis during days 28 to 56 postpartum. ILCs have a more abundant smooth endoplasm reticulum (SER), the network of membranes providing a scaffold for steroidogenic enzyme localization, compared to PLCs, but are considered immature because they secrete higher levels of 5alpha-reduced androgen than testosterone. ILCs undergo a final division before ALC steroidogenic function matures by postnatal day 56. ALCs mark the point of maximum differentiation, and at this stage, the Leydig cell secretes testosterone at the highest rate. In this review, trends of gene expression during development of the two Leydig-cell generations, and recent information from gene profiling by microarray, are evaluated. The expression profiles are distinct, indicating that FLCs and ALCs may originate from separate pools of stem cells.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 01/2008; 1120:16-35. · 4.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we describe a procedure to cryopreserve the postnatal members of the Leydig cell lineage, including progenitor (PLC), immature (ILC) and adult (ALC) Leydig cells from, respectively 21-, 35- and 90-day-old rats.
The cells were resuspended in a culture medium supplemented with 1% bovine serum albumin (Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium [DMEM]/F12) to a final concentration of 2 x 10(6)cells/ml and the effects of varying concentrations of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) (5, 10, 15 or 20%) were assessed after freezing at -70 degrees C and then storing in liquid nitrogen. After 12 months of frozen storage, these cells were thawed rapidly at 37 degrees C and Trypan Blue exclusion staining and attachment to culture dishes were assessed as measures of viability.
The trypan blue exclusion and attachment rates for Leydig cell stages were around 85% in the presence of 15% DMSO. After frozen storage, Leydig cell steroidogenic capacity in response to a range of LH doses, (0.01-100 ng/ml) was unchanged compared with freshly isolated control cells. Furthermore, the steady-state mRNA levels for Leydig cell specific transcripts were maintained.
This study demonstrates that purified rat Leydig cells at a range of developmental stages can be frozen and that the cryopreserved cells retain normal function.
Human Reproduction 09/2007; 22(8):2160-8. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent epidemiological evidence demonstrates that boys born to women exposed to phthalates during pregnancy have an increased incidence of cryptorchidism, hypospadias, testicular cancer and spermatogenic dysfunction, which are collectively referred to as testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS). TDS may be attributed to the dysfunction of Leydig cells and Sertoli cells during their differentiation after exposure to phthalates in utero. Fox example, Leydig cell functions are significantly affected by phthalates, leading to the decrease of two Leydig cell products--insulin-like growth factor 3 (INSL3) and testosterone, which are critical factors for testis descent. The disorientation of Leydig cells and Sertoli cells in the adult testis may be the cause of spermatogenic dysfunction.
Zhonghua nan ke xue = National journal of andrology 03/2007; 13(3):195-200.