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S. Palmero, M. Benahmed, A. M. Morera, P. Trucchi, and E. Fugassa


The existence of nuclear tri-iodothyronine (T3) receptors in both Sertoli and Leydig cells isolated from immature piglet testes was investigated. The results demonstrated the presence of high-affinity (K d=1·09±0·25 nm), low-capacity (185±24pg T3/mg DNA) binding sites for T3 in nuclei from freshly isolated Sertoli cells. No specific binding for T3 was observed in nuclei isolated from Leydig cells. The localization of specific T3 receptors, which might mediate the onset of thyroid hormone action, at Sertoli cell level confirms that these cells are a target for thyroid hormone and strongly sustain the role of the thyroid in the regulation of testicular functions during postnatal development.