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Open access

M H Abel, D Baban, S Lee, H M Charlton, and P J O'Shaughnessy

FSH acts through the Sertoli cell to ensure normal testicular development and function. To identify transcriptional mechanisms through which FSH acts in the testis, we have treated gonadotrophin-deficient hypogonadal (hpg) mice with recombinant FSH and measured changes in testicular transcript levels using microarrays and real-time PCR 12, 24 and 72 h after the start of treatment. Approximately 400 transcripts were significantly altered at each time point by FSH treatment. At 12 h, there was a clear increase in the levels of a number of known Sertoli cell transcripts (e.g. Fabp5, Lgals1, Tesc, Scara5, Aqp5). Additionally, levels of Leydig cell transcripts were also markedly increased (e.g. Ren1, Cyp17a1, Akr1b7, Star, Nr4a1). This was associated with a small but significant rise in testosterone at 24 and 72 h. At 24 h, androgen-dependent Sertoli cell transcripts were up-regulated (e.g. Rhox5, Drd4, Spinlw1, Tubb3 and Tsx) and this trend continued up to 72 h. By contrast with the somatic cells, only five germ cell transcripts (Dkkl1, Hdc, Pou5f1, Zfp541 and 1700021K02Rik) were altered by FSH within the time-course of the experiment. Analysis of canonical pathways showed that FSH induced a general decline in transcripts related to formation and regulation of tight junctions. Results show that FSH acts directly and indirectly to induce rapid changes in Sertoli cell and Leydig cell transcript levels in the hpg mouse but that effects on germ cell development must occur over a longer time-span.

Restricted access

S G Beech, S W Walker, J R Arthur, D Lee, and G J Beckett


The effects of TSH and the activation of the cyclic AMP (cAMP) and Ca2+-phosphatidylinositol (Ca2+-PI) cascades on the activity and expression of the selenoenzyme thyroidal type-I iodothyronine deiodinase (ID-I) have been studied using human thyrocytes grown in primary culture. Stimulation of ID-I activity and expression was obtained with TSH and an analogue of cAMP, 8-bromo-cAMP. In the presence or absence of TSH, the addition of the phorbol ester, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) together with the calcium ionophore A23187, caused a decrease in ID-I activity; a decrease in ID-I expression was also observed as assessed by cell labelling with [75 Se]selenite. PMA alone had no effect on ID-I activity in the presence or absence of TSH. A23187 alone produced a small but significant reduction in ID-I activity, but only in TSH-stimulated cells. These data provide evidence that the expression of thyroidal ID-I is negatively regulated by the Ca2+-PI cascade, and positively regulated by the cAMP cascade.

Free access

Kesha Rana, Maria W S Chiu, Patricia K Russell, Jarrod P Skinner, Nicole K L Lee, Barbara C Fam, Jeffrey D Zajac, and Helen E MacLean

The aim of this study was to investigate the direct muscle cell-mediated actions of androgens by comparing two different mouse lines. The cre-loxP system was used to delete the DNA-binding activity of the androgen receptor (AR) in mature myofibers (MCK mARΔZF2) in one model and the DNA-binding activity of the AR in both proliferating myoblasts and myofibers (α-actin mARΔZF2) in another model. We found that hind-limb muscle mass was normal in MCK mARΔZF2 mice and that relative mass of only some hind-limb muscles was reduced in α-actin mARΔZF2 mice. This suggests that myoblasts and myofibers are not the major cellular targets mediating the anabolic actions of androgens on male muscle during growth and development. Levator ani muscle mass was decreased in both mouse lines, demonstrating that there is a myofiber-specific effect in this unique androgen-dependent muscle. We found that the pattern of expression of genes including c-myc, Fzd4 and Igf2 is associated with androgen-dependent changes in muscle mass; therefore, these genes are likely to be mediators of anabolic actions of androgens. Further research is required to identify the major targets of androgen actions in muscle, which are likely to include indirect actions via other tissues.

Free access

Lynley D Pound, Suparna A Sarkar, Stéphane Cauchi, Yingda Wang, James K Oeser, Catherine E Lee, Philippe Froguel, John C Hutton, and Richard M O'Brien

Genome-wide association studies have shown that a polymorphic variant in SLC30A8, which encodes zinc transporter-8, is associated with altered susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). This association is consistent with the observation that glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is decreased in islets isolated from Slc30a8 knockout mice. In this study, immunohistochemical staining was first used to show that SLC30A8 is expressed specifically in pancreatic islets. Fusion gene studies were then used to examine the molecular basis for the islet-specific expression of SLC30A8. The analysis of SLC30A8-luciferase expression in βTC-3 cells revealed that the proximal promoter region, located between −6154 and −1, relative to the translation start site, was only active in stable but not transient transfections. VISTA analyses identified three regions in the SLC30A8 promoter and a region in SLC30A8 intron 2 that are conserved in the mouse Slc30a8 gene. Additional fusion gene experiments demonstrated that none of these Slc30a8 promoter regions exhibited enhancer activity when ligated to a heterologous promoter whereas the conserved region in SLC30A8 intron 2 conferred elevated reporter gene expression selectively in βTC-3 but not in αTC-6 cells. Finally, the functional effects of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs62510556, in this conserved intron 2 enhancer were investigated. Gel retardation studies showed that rs62510556 affects the binding of an unknown transcription factor and fusion gene analyses showed that it modulates enhancer activity. However, genetic analyses suggest that this SNP is not a causal variant that contributes to the association between SLC30A8 and T2D, at least in Europeans.