Regulation of the macrophage population in postnatal rat testis.
Testicular macrophages increase in concentration during postnatal development in rats. This process may be under hormonal control since administration of hCG stimulates a similar increase to occur precociously. The purpose of the present studies was to determine how the macrophage population is regulated during normal postnatal development and in response to exogenous hCG. We first determined that testicular macrophages proliferate in situ during development and that hCG administration results in an increase in proliferation when given to 10-day-old rats. We next evaluated whether hCG might exert its effects through enhanced secretion of testosterone from Leydig cells. We found that testosterone could not induce a precocious increment in the macrophage concentration when it was administered to newborn pups for 10 days. Finally, the normal increase in macrophage concentration that occurs prior to puberty could not be blocked by treatment with the antiandrogen Casodex. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the macrophage population expands by proliferation, perhaps under gonadotropin control. In addition, neither the precocial expansion that occurs in response to hCG nor the normal expansion that occurs before puberty is mediated by testosterone.
Raburn, DJ; Coquelin, A; Reinhart, AJ; Hutson, JC
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