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Int J Androl. 2000 Dec;23(6):360-5.

Constitutive production of interleukin-1alpha mRNA and protein in the developing rat testis.

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Department of Woman and Child Health, Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Interleukin-1 (IL-1), a multifunctional cytokine produced mainly by activated macrophages, is also produced in the intact testis. Rat testicular IL-1 was found to be identical to IL-1alpha, judged by immunoneutralization of the bioactive protein and sequence comparison of cloned rat testicular and macrophage pro-IL-1alpha cDNA. Testicular IL-1alpha mRNA was first demonstrated on postnatal day 15, and the corresponding bioactive protein from day 20. IL-1alpha mRNA was still low on day 20, but then increased rapidly in parallel with the bioactive protein to establish a plateau level from day 25. In adult testes, IL-1alpha mRNA and immunoreactive protein were low in stage VII of the seminiferous epithelial cycle, whereas other stages showed a clearly detectable expression. In the adult testis, the concentration of IL-1alpha was 75 pg/mg testicular protein (approximately 200 pM). In conclusion, production of testicular IL-1alpha is developmentally and stage-dependently regulated, probably at the transcriptional level, emphasizing an important paracrine role in testicular function.

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