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Biol Reprod. 2000 Apr;62(4):1040-6.

Regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 in rat Sertoli cells: induction by germ cell residual bodies, interleukin-1alpha, and second messengers.

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  • 1Institute of Medical Biochemistry, University of Oslo, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.


In the testis, FSH has been shown to induce the expression and secretion of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) from Sertoli cells in vitro. This study was performed to elucidate further the cellular origin of testicular TIMP-1 and its expression by hormonal and paracrine factors. This is the first report on the expression of testicular TIMP-1 in vivo. TIMP-1 mRNA in whole testis was decreased after hypophysectomy and strongly increased by the injection of FSH-S17 to hypophysectomized rats. Primary cultures of both peritubular and Sertoli cells showed basal expression of TIMP-1 mRNA. In contrast, we were unable to detect TIMP-1 mRNA in Leydig cells, freshly isolated immature germ cells (primary spermatocytes and spermatids), or residual bodies. We further show that treatment of Sertoli cells with 8-(4-chlorophenyl)thio-cAMP (8-CPTcAMP) in combination with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) or Ca(2+) inducers (calcium ionophore A23187 or thapsigargin) had additive (TPA) and synergistic effects (Ca(2+)) on the level of TIMP-1 mRNA and secreted protein. We also show that both the level of TIMP-1 mRNA and secreted protein from Sertoli cells were strongly increased by residual bodies, as well as by the cytokine interleukin-1alpha. TIMP-1 was not up-regulated by either 8-CPTcAMP or interleukin-1alpha in peritubular cells. In contrast to the regulated secretory fraction of TIMP-1, we also detected constitutively expressed immunoreactive TIMP-1 in the nucleus of Sertoli cells, suggesting a role of nuclear TIMP-1 in these cells. In conclusion, our data show that secretion of TIMP-1 from Sertoli cells is highly regulated by hormonal and local processes in the testis, indicating that TIMP-1 is of physiological importance during both testicular development and spermatogenesis.

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