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Life Sci. 2000 Feb 25;66(14):1317-24.

Testicular hormonal regulation of the renin-angiotensin system in the rat epididymis.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT. psleung@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

Evidence for the existence of an intrinsic angiotensin system based on locally formed angiotensinogen as a precursor for angiotensin production has been demonstrated in the rat epididymis. The data strongly support the presence of an epididymal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) which may be important for epididymal and sperm functions. In the present study, the effects of castration and testicular hormonal replacement on the expression of RAS components from the rat epididymis are investigated at the gene and protein levels. Results from northern blot and western blot analyses consistently showed that the expression of angiotensinogen mRNA and protein was apparently abolished by castration whereas their expression was completely restored to control levels when the castrated rats were hormonally replaced with either testosterone alone or with combined testosterone and estradiol. Northern blot did not detect any signal for angiotensinogen mRNA while western blot could detect a weak signal for angiotensinogen protein when the castrated rats were replaced with estradiol alone. Renin could be detected neither in control, castrated nor hormonally replaced rats. Moreover, the expression of angiotensin II receptor, type I (AT1) was almost abolished by castration as demonstrated by northern blot and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. These data indicate that the expression of RAS by the rat epididymis at the levels of its precursor angiotensinogen and its receptor AT1, is subject to the regulation of testicular hormones and its expression appears to be predominantly testosterone-dependent.

PMID:
10755467
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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