Regulation of Sertoli cell differentiation by the testicular paracrine factor PModS: analysis of common signal transduction pathways.
In the testis the mesenchymally derived peritubular cells produce a paracrine factor, PModS, that mediates mesenchymal-epithelial interactions and modulates Sertoli cell functions essential for the process of spermatogenesis. PModS has a more dramatic effect on Sertoli cell differentiated functions in vitro than any regulatory agent previously shown to influence the cells, including FSH. The current study initiates an investigation of the pharmacology of PModS through an analysis of several common signal transduction pathways. PModS was found to stimulate cGMP levels in Sertoli cells and maintain elevated levels for up to 5 days in culture. PModS had no influence on cAMP levels. In contrast, FSH stimulated cAMP, but had no influence on cGMP levels. For comparison, an agent known to influence cGMP levels, atrial naturetic factor (ANF), was used to treat Sertoli cells. ANF caused a dramatic increase in Sertoli cell cGMP levels within minutes of treatment, but did not maintain elevated cGMP levels after a 72-h treatment. Although ANF increased guanylate cyclase in whole Sertoli cell homogenates and particulate fractions, PModS did not directly influence guanylate cyclase activity. As previously shown, PModS stimulates transferrin expression as a marker of Sertoli cell differentiated function. Agents that elevate cellular cGMP, including ANF, sodium nitroprusside, and 8-bromo-cGMP, did not influence Sertoli cell transferrin expression. In addition, these agents did not influence the actions of PModS or FSH. Therefore, cGMP does not appear to directly mediate the actions of PModS. As an alternative signal transduction pathway, calcium mobilization and inositol phosphate (IP) metabolism were examined. PModS did not alter calcium uptake or intracellular calcium mobilization. PModS also did not influence the levels of inositol mono-, bis-, or trisphosphates, whereas calf serum did stimulate levels of all three IP metabolites in Sertoli cells. Therefore, PModS does not appear to act through a mobilization of calcium or increased metabolism of IP. A final signal transduction pathway involving phosphorylation was also examined. PModS treatment was found to increase tyrosine phosphorylation of specific proteins in a crude Sertoli cell cytosol preparation. Genistein is an inhibitor of tyrosine kinases and was found to reduce PModS actions at a 3.7-microM concentration of genistein and inhibit PModS actions at a 37-microM concentration of genistein. Therefore, PModS may act through a tyrosine phosphorylation event that remains to be elucidated. Combined observations indicate that PModS does not use cyclic nucleotides, calcium mobilization, or IP metabolism as a signal transduction pathway.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Norton, JN; Vigne, JL; Skinner, MK
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