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Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 7;7:45298. doi: 10.1038/srep45298.

BMP6 Regulates Proliferation and Apoptosis of Human Sertoli Cells Via Smad2/3 and Cyclin D1 Pathway and DACH1 and TFAP2A Activation.

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State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Renji- Med X Clinical Stem Cell Research Center, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200127, China.
Department of Andrology, Urologic Medical Center, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 100 Haining Road, Shanghai 200080, China.
Shanghai Institute of Andrology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 145 Shangdong Road, Shanghai 200001, China.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Assisted Reproduction and Reproductive Genetics, Shanghai 200127, China.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China.


Sertoli cells are essential for regulating normal spermatogenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying human Sertoli cell development remain largely elusive. Here we examined the function and signaling pathways of BMP6 in regulating human Sertoli cells. RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and Western blots revealed that BMP6 and its multiple receptors were expressed in human Sertoli cells. CCK-8 and EDU assays showed that BMP6 promoted the proliferation of Sertoli cells. Conversely, BMP6 siRNAs inhibited the division of these cells. Annexin V/PI assay indicated that BMP6 reduced the apoptosis in human Sertoli cells, whereas BMP6 knockdown assumed reverse effects. BMP6 enhanced the expression levels of ZO1, SCF, GDNF and AR in human Sertoli cells, and ELISA assay showed an increase of SCF by BMP6 and a reduction by BMP6 siRNAs. Notably, Smad2/3 phosphorylation and cyclin D1 were enhanced by BMP6 and decreased by BMP6 siRNAs in human Sertoli cells. The levels of DACH1 and TFAP2A were increased by BMP6 and reduced by BMP6 siRNAs, and the growth of human Sertoli cells was inhibited by these siRNAs. Collectively, these results suggest that BMP6 regulates the proliferation and apoptosis of human Sertoli cells via activating the Smad2/3/cyclin D1 and DACH1 and TFAP2A pathway.

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