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Biol Reprod. 1986 Jun;34(5):895-904.

Hormonal stimulation alters the type of plasminogen activator produced by Sertoli cells.


Primary cultures of immature rat Sertoli cells, maintained in serum-free medium, secrete two types of plasminogen activator (PA). When cultured under basal conditions, the preparations predominantly produce PA having a relative molecular weight (Mr) of 45,000 to 48,000. This PA activity is inactivated by antiserum against urokinase-type PA. When Sertoli cells are stimulated by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or by dibutyryl cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (dbcAMP), PA secretion is increased. The PA produced under these conditions has an Mr of 70,000, and is inactivated by antiserum against tissue-type PA but not by antiserum against urokinase-type PA. We conclude that, under basal conditions, Sertoli cells primarily secrete PA having the characteristics of urokinase-like PA (mu PA), and that Sertoli cells stimulated by FSH or by dbcAMP predominantly produce PA having the properties of tissue-type PA (tPA). Segments of adult rat seminiferous tubules, at defined stages of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium, also produce and secrete two types of PA into the medium when maintained in organ culture. Segments at all stages examined release primarily mu PA in preparations cultured under basal conditions. In contrast, segments cultured in the presence of FSH synthesize larger amounts of PA, predominantly of the tPA type. An additional protease, which is independent of plasminogen, is secreted by tubule segments stimulated by FSH. The activity of this novel protease is not detectable in cultures maintained under basal conditions. We discuss the data in relation to the possible role of proteases in the restructuring of the seminiferous tubule during spermatogenesis.

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