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Endocrinology. 1998 Apr;139(4):1872-82.

Lactogenic hormone-inducible phosphorylation and gamma-activated site-binding activities of Stat5b in primary rat Leydig cells and MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells.

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  • 1Population Council, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The signal transducer and activator of transcription Stat5b has been implicated in signal transduction pathways for a number of cytokines and growth factors, including GH and PRL. Although these lactogenic hormones have the potential to enhance gonadotropin-induced steroidogenesis, the role of GH and PRL in the testis has long been and remains the subject of controversy. In this report we provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence of Stat5b protein expression in the testis and characterize the activation of Stat5b by these lactogenic hormones in primary rat progenitor, immature and adult Leydig cells, and mouse MA-10 Leydig tumor cells. In MA-10 cells, both GH and PRL mediate tyrosine phosphorylation of Janus kinase (JAK) 2 and Stat5b and induce DNA-binding activity of Stat5b. GH enhances both PIE (PRL-inducible element) and Fc gammaRI gamma-activated sites (GAS), but PRL modulates only PIE GAS. In primary Leydig cells isolated from 18-day-old rats, GH, but not PRL, activates cytoplasmic Stat5b and induces the binding of translocated nuclear Stat5b to GAS elements. Although Stat5b protein is expressed in both Percoll- and elutriator-purified adult rat Leydig cells, neither GH nor PRL treatment results in Stat5b-DNA binding. Our studies indicate that the MA-10 cell has the capacity to bind both GH and PRL and provides a useful model system with which to study the distinct testicular roles of these hormones. Moreover, our findings suggest that progenitor and immature Leydig cells are functional targets for GH in the immature rat, suggestive of a role for GH-Stat5b in testicular development. Our data indicate that lactogenic hormone-inducible transcriptional activation may target distinct gene expression in a signaling cascade(s) involving Stat5b but also imply coordinate control by multiple Leydig cell factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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