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Endocrinology. 1991 May;128(5):2441-8.

Tachykinin (substance-P) gene expression in Leydig cells of the human and mouse testis.

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Institute for Hormone and Fertility Research, Hamburg, Germany.


Specific substance-P immunoreactivity can be detected in the Leydig cells, particularly of human testes, and to a lesser degree in mouse Leydig cells, but not in the rat. Using a modified polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, preprotachykinin-A (substance-P) mRNA could be detected in extracts of human, mouse, and bovine testes, but not in rat or boar testes or in bovine thyroid or corpus luteum used as negative controls. This assay is able to discriminate among the alpha, beta, and gamma transcripts of the gene and shows that only the beta and gamma transcripts are present in the testes. Sequencing analysis of the PCR products from bovine hypothalamus, mouse brain, and human testis confirmed the structure of these transcripts, which encode both substance-P and neurokinin-A (substance-K) neuropeptide hormones. Using a variant of this assay it was possible to identify tachykinin transcripts in as few as 500 freshly prepared purified mouse Leydig cells. In parallel studies PCR analysis was also able to confirm the presence of mRNA for both substance-P and neurokinin-A receptors in human testes. Thus, the tachykinins substance-P and neurokinin-A must now be added to the list of potentially paracrine substances regulating intratesticular function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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