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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activation of a neural brain-testicular pathway rapidly lowers Leydig cell levels of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein and the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor while increasing levels of neuronal nitric oxide synthase.

Activation of a neural brain-testicular pathway by the intracerebroventricular injection of the beta-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (ISO), the hypothalamic peptide corticotropin-releasing factor ( CRF), or alcohol (EtOH) rapidly decreases the testosterone ( T) response to human chorionic gonadotropin. To elucidate the intratesticular mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon, we investigated the influence of intracerebroventricular-injected ISO, CRF, or EtOH on levels of the steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein, the peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor (PBR), and the cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme in semipurified Leydig cells. ISO (10 microg), CRF (5 microg), or EtOH (5 microl of 200 proof, a dose that does not induce neuronal damage nor leaks to the periphery) rapidly decreased StAR and PBR but not cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme protein levels. Levels of the variant of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) that is restricted to Leydig cells, TnNOS, significantly increased in response to ISO, CRF, and EtOH over the time course of altered StAR/PBR concentrations. However, pretreatment of the rats with N(w)nitro-arginine methylester, which blocked ISO-induced increases in TnNOS, neither restored the T response to human chorionic gonadotropin nor prevented the decreases in StAR and PBR. These results provide evidence of concomitant changes in Leydig cell StAR and PBR levels in live rats. They also indicate that activation of a neural brain-testicular pathway rapidly decreases concentrations of these steroidogenic proteins while up-regulating testicular NO production. However, additional studies are necessary to elucidate the functional role played by this gas in our model.[1]


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