Korean Journal of Veterinary Research 2000;40(2):229-236.
Expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein mRNA in immature and adult rat testes
Phil-ok Koh, Soo-dong Kwak
Institute of Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University
미성숙과 성숙한 흰쥐 고환에서의 Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein mRNA의 발현
고필옥, 곽수동
경상대학교 수의과대학 동물의학연구소
The synthesis of steroid hormone starts from cholesterol. Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) acutely transfers cholesterol from the outer mitochondrial membrane to the inner in the early step of steroidogenesis. Many kinds of steroid hormone are mainly synthesized in adrenal grand, ovary, and testis. Among the steroid hormone, testosterone is synthesized in Leydig cells of the testis, the production of testosterone significantly increases in adult testis after puberty onset. Therefore, we think that the expression of StAR mRNA in testis will change according to the testicular development. The aim of this study is to determine the distribution of StAR mRNA in immature and adult rat testes and to confirm the functions of StAR in these testes. Thus, in situ hybridization was used in rat testes of the 2, 4, and 10 weeks of age. StAR mRNA was expressed in Leydig cells. Positive signals of StAR mRNA were weakly detected in Leydig cells of the 2 weeks of age. But, StAR mRNA was strongly expressed in Leydig cells of the 4 and 10 weeks of age, where steroidogenesis actively occur. In our results, the pattern of StAR mRNA expression was similar to the pattern of testosterone production in immature and adult rat testes. In conclusion, we can suggest that StAR acts as an important factor to regulate the synthesis of testosterone in Leydig cells of the rat testis.
Key Words: StAR mRNA, in situ hybridization, testis, rat
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