Main content area

Chronic intermittent hypoxia stimulate testosterone production in rat Leydig cells

Cho, Yu-Min, Chou, Jou-Chun, Fang, Chia-Mei, Hu, Sindy, Wang, Kai-Lee, Wang, Shyi-Wu, Wang, Paulus S.
Life sciences 2019 pp. 116694
Leydig cells, androstenedione, angiogenesis, blood serum, cyclopiazonic acid, forskolin, human chorionic gonadotropin, hypoxia, luteinizing hormone, luteinizing hormone receptors, messenger RNA, oxygen, pregnenolone, protein synthesis, rats, secretion, testosterone, vascular endothelial growth factors
The hypoxia-stimulated response of the endocrine system depends on the kind and duration of hypoxia. Hypoxia has been reported to stimulate testosterone (T) production in rats, but the mechanisms remain to be investigated.Male rats were divided into two groups. The rats exposed to chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) at 8 h/day were housed in a hypoxic chamber (12% O2) for 14 days. Normoxic rats were used as control animals. T measured after challenging the rat Leydig cells (LCs) with different stimulators, including hCG (0.01 IU/ml), forskolin (10−5 M), 8-bromo-cAMP (10−4 M), A23187 (10−5 M), cyclopiazonic acid (10−4 M), and androstenedione (10−8 M). Meanwhile, the LCs were incubated with trilostane (10−5 M) and/or 25-OH-hydroxycholesterol (10−5 M); thereafter the media were collected for pregnenolone assay.In the CIH group, plasma T levels were increased, but the serum luteinizing hormone (LH) was decreased. Furthermore, at several time intervals after hCG injection, plasma T levels were higher in the CIH group. The evoked-release of T and pregnenolone were significantly increased in the CIH group. Compared with the normoxic group, the CIH group had higher mRNA and protein expression levels of the LH receptor and CYP11A1 but not StAR. The plasma and testicular microvasculature VEGF levels were increased in the CIH group. The testicular vessel distribution was more obvious in CIH rats.CIH-induced T secretion might be partially mediated by mechanisms involving the induction of LH receptor expression, testicular angiogenesis, CYP11A1 activity, 17β-HSD activity, and calcium-related pathway.