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J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 5;264(4):2156-63.

Corticotropin-releasing factor receptors and actions in rat Leydig cells.

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  • 1Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.

Abstract

Rat Leydig cells possess functional high affinity receptors for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF inhibited human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-induced androgen production in cultured fetal and adult Leydig cells in a dose-dependent manner, but it had no effect on basal testosterone secretion. Comparable inhibitory effects of CRF were observed in the presence or absence of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. CRF treatment caused a marked reduction of steroid precursors of the androgen pathway (from pregnenolone to testosterone) during gonadotropin stimulation, but it did not influence their basal levels. The inhibitory action of CRF on hCG-induced steroidogenesis was fully reversed by 8-bromo-cAMP but was not affected by pertussis toxin. The action of CRF was rapid; and it was blocked by coincubation with anti-CRF antibody. CRF caused no changes in hCG binding to Leydig cells, and in contrast to other target tissues, CRF did not stimulate cAMP production, indicating that CRF receptors are not coupled to Gs in Leydig cells. These studies have demonstrated that CRF-induced inhibition of the acute steroidogenic action of hCG is exerted at sites related to receptor/cyclase coupling or cAMP formation. The inhibitory effects of CRF in the Leydig cell do not occur through the Gi unit of adenylate cyclase, but could involve pertussis toxin-insensitive G protein(s). These observations demonstrate that CRF has a novel and potent antireproductive effect at the testicular level. Since CRF is synthesized in the testis and is present in Leydig cells, it is likely that locally produced CRF could exert negative autocrine modulation on the stimulatory action of luteinizing hormone on Leydig cell function.

PMID:
2464587
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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