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G. Pelletier, C. Labrie, J. Simard, M. Duval, M. G. Martinoli, H. Zhao, and F. Labrie

ABSTRACT

Prostatic steroid-binding protein (PBP) is the most abundant protein synthesized in the rat ventral prostate. The protein is under strict androgenic control and is made of two subunits containing the polypeptides Cl, C2 and C3. Using an 35S-labelled cDNA probe, we have used quantitative in-situ hybridization to assess the regulation of polypeptide Cl mRNA levels by sex steroids in the adult male rat. Densitometric quantification of autoradiographic hybridization signals revealed that a significant decrease in Cl mRNA levels could be detected 5 h after castration. Levels of Cl mRNA decreased by 50% 2·5 days after castration, while undetectable levels were reached within 7 days. Administration of the potent androgen 5α-dihydrotestosterone to castrated rats caused a progressive increase in Cl mRNA levels which became significant 5 h after the first injection, while prolonged treatment, for 3 and 7 days, caused 50 and 100% reversals respectively of the effect of castration on Cl mRNA levels. Similar results were obtained by dot-blot hybridization using the same 32P-labelled cDNA probe, thus confirming the specificity and quantification achieved by in-situ hybridization. Administration of oestradiol-17β to orchiectomized adult rats for 14 days had no effect on steady-state Cl mRNA levels. Progesterone, on the other hand, at the dose used (2 mg twice daily) caused a marked increase in Cl mRNA levels, measured by in-situ hybridization, which was completely reversed by concomitant administration of the pure antiandrogen flutamide.

The present data clearly demonstrate that the expression of PBP Cl peptide mRNA is under strict androgenic control and is a very sensitive and specific parameter of androgenic activity. They also indicate that quantitative in-situ hybridization is a powerful, sensitive and most efficient tool to study the regulation of gene expression while, in addition, providing precise information about the site of mRNA localization as well as information about the histology of the tissue, particularly the heterogeneous nature of the acinar response to androgenic stimulation and deprivation.

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F Labrie, V Luu-The, SX Lin, J Simard, C Labrie, M El-Alfy, G Pelletier, and A Belanger

In women and men, an important proportion of estrogens and androgens are synthesized locally at their site of action in peripheral target tissues. This new field of endocrinology has been called intracrinology. In postmenopausal women, 100% of active sex steroids are synthesized in peripheral target tissues from inactive steroid precursors while, in adult men, approximately 50% of androgens are made locally in intracrine target tissues. The last and key step in the formation of all estrogens and androgens is catalyzed by members of the family of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17 beta-HSDs) while different 17 beta-HSDs inactivate these steroids in the same cell where synthesis takes place. To date, seven human 17 beta-HSDs have been cloned, sequenced and characterized. The 17 beta-HSDs provide each cell with the means of precisely controlling the intracellular concentration of each sex steroid according to local needs.

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C Bolduc, M Larose, M Yoshioka, P Ye, P Belleau, C Labrie, J Morissette, V Raymond, F Labrie, and J St-Amand

Intra-abdominal fat accumulation is related to several diseases, especially diabetes and heart disease. Molecular mechanisms associated with this independent risk factor are not well established. Through the serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) strategy, we have studied the transcriptomic effects of castration and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in retroperitoneal adipose tissue of C57BL6 male mice. Approximately 50 000 SAGE tags were isolated in intact and gonadectomized mice, as well as 3 and 24 h after DHT administration. Transcripts involved in energy metabolism, such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme supernatant, fatty acid synthase, lipoprotein lipase, hormone-sensitive lipase and monoglyceride lipase, were upregulated by DHT. Transcripts involved in adipogenesis, and cell cycle and cell shape organization, such as DDX5, C/EBPα, cyclin I, procollagen types I, III, IV, V and VI, SPARC and matrix metalloproteinase 2, were upregulated by DHT. Cell defense, division and signaling, protein expression and many novel transcripts were regulated by castration and DHT. The present results provide global genomic evidence for a stimulation of glycolysis, fatty acids and triacylglycerol production, lipolysis and cell shape reorganization, as well as cell proliferation and differentiation, by DHT. The novel transcripts regulated by DHT may contribute to identify new mechanisms involved in the action of sex hormones and their potential role in obesity.