Format

Send to

Choose Destination
C R Biol. 2018 Jan;341(1):9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2017.11.002. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Sex hormone levels in the brain of d-aspartate-treated rats.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie ambientali, biologiche e farmaceutiche, Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy.
2
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie ambientali, biologiche e farmaceutiche, Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy. Electronic address: alessandra.santillo@unicampania.it.
3
Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy.
4
Medical Affair Department Fertility TA, Merck-Serono SAS, Rome, Italy.
5
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie ambientali, biologiche e farmaceutiche, Università della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy; Department of Neurobiology and Comparative Physiology, Zoological Station "Anthon Dohrn", Naples, Italy. Electronic address: daniello.antimo@gmail.com.

Abstract

d-Aspartate (d-Asp) is an endogenous amino acid present in the central nervous system and endocrine glands of various animal taxa. d-Asp is implicated in neurotransmission, physiology of learning, and memory processes. In gonads, it plays a crucial role in sex hormone synthesis. We have investigated the effects of chronic (30 days d-Asp drinking solution) and acute (i.p. injection of 2μmol/g bw d-Asp) treatments on sex steroid synthesis in rat brain. Furthermore, to verify the direct effect of d-Asp on neurosteroidogenic enzyme activities, brain homogenates were incubated with different substrates (cholesterol, progesterone, or testosterone) with or without the addition of d-Asp. Enzyme activities were measured by evaluating the in vitro conversion rate of (i) cholesterol to progesterone, testosterone, and 17β-estradiol, (ii) progesterone to testosterone and 17β-estradiol, (iii) testosterone to 17β-estradiol. We found that d-Asp oral administration produced an increase of approximately 40% in progesterone, 110% in testosterone, and 35% in 17β-estradiol. Similarly, the results of the acute experiment showed that at 30min after d-Asp treatment, the progesterone, testosterone, and 17β-estradiol levels increased by 29-35%, and at 8h they further increased by a 100% increment. In vitro experiments demonstrate that the addition of d-Asp to brain homogenate+substrate induces a significant increase in progesterone, testosterone and 17β-estradiol suggesting that the amino acid upregulates the local activity of steroidogenic enzymes.

KEYWORDS:

17β-estradiol; Progesterone; Testosterone; d-aspartic acid

PMID:
29203165
DOI:
10.1016/j.crvi.2017.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center