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Three populations of adult Leydig cells in mouse testes revealed by a novel mouse HSD3B1-specific rat monoclonal antibody

Yokoyama, Chikako, Chigi, Yuta, Baba, Takashi, Ohshitanai, Atsushi, Harada, Yumi, Takahashi, Fumiya, Morohashi, Ken-ichirou
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2019 v.511 no.4 pp. 916-920
Leydig cells, adults, gene expression, genes, genetic markers, isomerases, males, mice, monoclonal antibodies, rats, testosterone
Leydig cells play a pivotal function in the synthesis of a male sex steroid, testosterone. The ability of the steroid production is dependent on the expression of the steroidogenic genes, such as HSD3B (3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ5- Δ4 isomerase). It has been established that two different types of Leydig cells, fetal Leydig cells (FLCs) and adult Leydig cells (ALCs), are developed in mammalian testes. FLCs and ALCs are characterized by different sets of marker gene expression. In the case of mouse Leydig cells, Hsd3b1 (Hsd3b type 1) is expressed both in FLCs and ALCs whereas Hsd3b6 (Hsd3b type 6) is expressed in ALCs but not in FLCs. However, because the antibodies established so far for HSD3B were unable to distinguish between the HSD3B1 and HSD3B6 isoforms, it remained unclear whether both of them are expressed in every ALC. Therefore, in the present study, we generated a rat monoclonal antibody specific for mouse HSD3B1. Intriguingly, this monoclonal antibody together with an antibody specific for HSD3B6 identified three populations of ALCs based on the expression levels of these HSD3Bs.