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Endocrinology. 1995 Dec;136(12):5614-22.

Anti-müllerian hormone and anti-müllerian hormone type II receptor messenger ribonucleic acid expression during postnatal testis development and in the adult testis of the rat.

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Department of Endocrinology and Reproduction, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) induces degeneration of the müllerian ducts during male sex differentiation and may have additional functions concerning gonadal development. In the immature rat testis, there is a marked developmental increase in AMH type II receptor (AMHRII) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in Sertoli cells, concomitant with the initiation of spermatogenesis. AMHRII mRNA is also expressed at a high level in Sertoli cells in adult rats. To obtain information about the possible functions of AMH in the testis, we investigated the postnatal expression patterns of the genes encoding AMH and AMHRII in the rat testis in more detail. Using RNase protection assays, AMH and AMHRII mRNA expression was measured in total RNA preparations from testes or testicular tubule segments isolated from control rats and from rats that had received various treatments. The testicular level of AMHRII mRNA was found to be much higher than that of AMH mRNA in adult rats. AMH mRNA was detected at a maximal level at stage VII of the spermatogenic cycle and at a low level at the other stages. AMHRII mRNA increases from stage XIII, is highest at stages VI and VII, and then rapidly declines at stage VIII to almost undetectable levels at stages IX-XII. It was found that the increase in testicular AMHRII mRNA expression during the first 3 weeks of postnatal development also occurs in sterile rats (prenatally irradiated), and hence, is independent of the presence or absence of germ cells. Yet, the total testicular level of AMHRII mRNA was decreased in sterile adult rats (prenatally irradiated or experimental cryptorchidism), as compared with intact control rats. However, treatment of adult rats with methoxyacetic acid or hydroxyurea, which resulted in partial germ cell depletion, had no effect on total testicular AMHRII mRNA expression. We conclude that a combination of multiple spermatogenic cycle events, possibly involving changes of Sertoli cell structure and/or Sertoli cell-basal membrane interactions, regulate autocrine AMH action on Sertoli cells, in particular at stage VII of the spermatogenic cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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