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J Androl. 1991 Mar-Apr;12(2):148-51.

Extracellular calcium and luteinizing hormone effects on 22-hydroxycholesterol used for testosterone production in mouse Leydig cells.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


The effect of extracellular calcium on testosterone synthesis in response to luteinizing hormone (LH) or 22-hydroxycholesterol (22-OH-C) by isolated adult mouse Leydig cells was studied. Leydig cells were isolated by linear density gradient centrifugation. The cells were incubated in minimum essential medium with or without calcium (1.36 mmol/L) in an atmosphere of 95% air and 5% carbon dioxide at 37 degrees C for 3 hours with or without LH (10 ng/sample), or with or without 22-OH-C (10 mumol/L). Testosterone production in response to LH was significantly lower (P less than 0.02) in the absence of extracellular calcium and in the presence of verapamil (10 mumol/L), a calcium channel blocking agent. Extracellular calcium did not significantly (P greater than 0.05) affect testosterone production in cells incubated with 22-OH-C in either the presence or absence of LH. The results suggest that steps in steroidogenesis from 22-OH-C to testosterone are unaffected by extracellular calcium content and that extracellular calcium affects the use of intracellular cholesterol by the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme.

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