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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Oct;99(10):3766-73. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-1690. Epub 2014 Jun 17.

Testicular synthesis and vitamin D action.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism (D.H., J.M., V.S., M.U., T.R.P., B.O.-P.), Department of Urology (K.H., R.Z.), and Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation Surgery (P.S., H.M.), Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The vitamin D system has pleiotropic effects not only in bone metabolism. Its role in testicular steroidogenesis is new and deserves intensive research.

OBJECTIVE:

We hypothesize that vitamin D, especially 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3 (calcitriol)] induces male steroidogenesis and intend to identify its impact on genes and pathways in testicular androgen regulation.

METHODS:

Human adult primary testicular cells were isolated, treated with 1,25(OH)2D3, and their gene expression levels profiled by microarray analysis. Highly regulated genes were confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR. In addition, the effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 in combination with LH and IGF-I on the gene expression level of androgens were assessed. T levels in the culture media were determined by a high-resolution ELISA. The expression of vitamin D receptor was confirmed at baseline and after 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulation using immunocytochemistry.

RESULTS:

Microarrays depicted 63 genes significantly regulated by 1,25(OH)2D3, including genes related to male androgen and vitamin D metabolism, mainly triggered by the vitamin D receptor/retinoid X receptor activation. 1,25(OH)2D3 led to significant changes in the expression profiles of reproductive genes and significantly increased T synthesis in human testicular cell cultures.

CONCLUSIONS:

Data from our human primary testicular cell culture model suggest that vitamin D plays a major role in male steroidogenesis in vitro.

PMID:
24937537
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2014-1690
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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