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Original Article Transcriptional Regulation of the Estrogen Receptor alpha Gene by Testosterone in Cultures of Primary Rat Sertoli Cells.
Sang Kuk Yang, Kyung Ah Yoon, Eun Jin Yun, Kyoung Sub Song, Jong Seok Kim, Young Rae Kim, Jong Il Park, Seung Kiel Park, Byung Doo Hwang, Kyu Lim
Endocrinology and Metabolism 2006;21(2):106-115
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3803/jkes.2006.21.2.106
Published online: April 1, 2006
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1Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Konkuk University, Korea.
2Daejeon Health Sciences College, Korea.
3Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Korea.
4Cancer Research Institute, Chungnam National University, Korea.

BACKGROUND
We wanted to identify the presence of the estrogen receptor (ER) alpha in Sertoli cells and gain insight on the regulation of the ER alpha gene expression by testosterone in Sertoli cells. The transcriptional regulation of the ER alpha gene was investigated in primary Sertoli cell cultures by in situ hybridization and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). METHODS: Primary Sertoli cell culture was performed. The expression levels of ER alpha and ER beta mRNA in Sertoli cells were detected by Northern blot, RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization. RESULTS: The ovary, testis and epididymis showed a moderate to high expression of ER alpha while the prostate, ovary and LNCap cells showed the ER beta expression. ER alpha mRNA and protein were detected in the germ cells and Sertoli cells by in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. The level of ER alpha mRNA was gradually decreased in a time-dependent manner after testosterone treatment, and the changes of ER alpha mRNA were dependent on the concentration of testosterone. Androgen binding protein and testosterone-repressive prostate message-2 (TRPM-2) mRNA were reduced at 24 hour by estradiol, while the transferrin mRNA was not affected. ER alpha mRNA was strongly detectable in the testes of 7 days-old-rats, but it was gradually decreased from 14 to 21 days of age. The primary Sertoli cells also showed the same pattern. The ER alpha gene expression was also regulated by testosterone in the Sertoli cells prepared from the 14- and 21-day old rats. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that ER alpha is transcriptionally regulated by testosterone and it may play some role in the Sertoli cells.

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