The Effect of Pulsatile Hormonal Stimulation on Gene Expression in Cultured Rat Sertoli Cells


  • National Institute of Immunology, Cellular Endocrinology Lab, New Delhi, 110067, India


FSH and Testosterone (T) are the major endocrine regulators of spermatogenesis. Both these hormones act via testicular Sertoli cells (Sc) to regulate the division and differentiation of male germ cells (Gc). A number of FSH- and/or T-responsive genes, expressed specifically by Sc having critical role in regulating sperm production, have been identified. We have previously reported the efficacy of a novel in vitro administration of pulsatile hormonal treatment protocol (exposure of FSH and T in combination for 30 minutes/3 hr upto 24 hr) on gene expression by cultured rat Sc as compared to that with the conventional constant (for 24 hr) hormonal exposure. In the present study, we further demonstrate that such pulsatile stimulation of hormones to cultured rat Sc show more prominent impact in terms of augmenting the expressions of Sc-specific genes critical for spermatogenesis, like Inhibin-β-B, Androgen binding protein (Abp) and Stem cell factor (Scf) at the 11th hr (hr) of total treatment duration i.e., 24 hr. This report thereby pinpoints the specific treatment regime for evaluating the maximal hormone-induced gene expression in cultured Sc systems. This new protocol of hormonal stimulation (for 11 hr only instead of 24 hr) will significantly improve our current practice of using primary Sc culture systems for detecting hormonal responsiveness or signaling with respect to gene expression in vitro.


FSH, Gene Expression, Sertoli Cells, Spermatogenesis, Testosterone

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