open access

Vol 47, No 2 (2009)
Original paper
Submitted: 2011-12-19
Published online: 2009-12-10
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Age-related changes in the expression of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 in rat Leydig cells.

Yvetta Koeva, Mariana Bakalska, Nina Atanassova, Katerina Georgieva, Michail Davidoff
DOI: 10.2478/v10042-009-0021-3
·
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(2):281-287.

open access

Vol 47, No 2 (2009)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Submitted: 2011-12-19
Published online: 2009-12-10

Abstract

Previous studies in rats have shown that the ability of Leydig cells (LCs) to produce testosterone significantly declines with age. To address the possible mechanisms by which aging LCs lose their steroidogenic function, we determined the effect of aging on the expression of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD) type 2. The enzyme plays a protective role in blunting the suppressive effects of glucocorticoids on LCs steroidogenesis. Our immunohistochemical analysis revealed progressive decline in 11beta-HDS type 2 expression in LCs of the 18 months of age rats and the most significant reduction in 11beta-HSD2 immunoreactivity was evident in the testicular interstitium of 24- month-old rats. The decrease in the 11beta-HDS type 2 immunostaining in LCs during aging coincided with decline in insulin-like 3/relaxin-like factor (INSL3/RLF) expression, an independent marker for LCs differentiation status. Concomitant with the age-related decrease of 11beta-HDS type 2 immunoreactivity in the LCs population, the immunoexpression of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), marker for LCs steroidogenic activity, was greatly reduced at 24 months compared to 3-month-old control. Similar pattern of expression exhibited also androgen receptor (AR) which is localized in the nuclei of Sertoli cells (SCs), LCs, and peritubular cells. During ages we observed progressive decrease in the immunoreactivity for AR in the testicular types and there was a loss of stage specificity in SCs at age of 24 months. It now seems evident that a variety of factors are likely to be involved in age-related decreases in LCs steroidogenesis, including 11beta-HSD type 2. The observed reduction in 11beta-HSD type 2 expression in aging LCs reflects the decline in their protection ability, opposing the suppressive effect of glucocorticoids on testosterone production.

Abstract

Previous studies in rats have shown that the ability of Leydig cells (LCs) to produce testosterone significantly declines with age. To address the possible mechanisms by which aging LCs lose their steroidogenic function, we determined the effect of aging on the expression of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-HSD) type 2. The enzyme plays a protective role in blunting the suppressive effects of glucocorticoids on LCs steroidogenesis. Our immunohistochemical analysis revealed progressive decline in 11beta-HDS type 2 expression in LCs of the 18 months of age rats and the most significant reduction in 11beta-HSD2 immunoreactivity was evident in the testicular interstitium of 24- month-old rats. The decrease in the 11beta-HDS type 2 immunostaining in LCs during aging coincided with decline in insulin-like 3/relaxin-like factor (INSL3/RLF) expression, an independent marker for LCs differentiation status. Concomitant with the age-related decrease of 11beta-HDS type 2 immunoreactivity in the LCs population, the immunoexpression of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), marker for LCs steroidogenic activity, was greatly reduced at 24 months compared to 3-month-old control. Similar pattern of expression exhibited also androgen receptor (AR) which is localized in the nuclei of Sertoli cells (SCs), LCs, and peritubular cells. During ages we observed progressive decrease in the immunoreactivity for AR in the testicular types and there was a loss of stage specificity in SCs at age of 24 months. It now seems evident that a variety of factors are likely to be involved in age-related decreases in LCs steroidogenesis, including 11beta-HSD type 2. The observed reduction in 11beta-HSD type 2 expression in aging LCs reflects the decline in their protection ability, opposing the suppressive effect of glucocorticoids on testosterone production.
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About this article
Title

Age-related changes in the expression of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 in rat Leydig cells.

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 47, No 2 (2009)

Article type

Original paper

Pages

281-287

Published online

2009-12-10

DOI

10.2478/v10042-009-0021-3

Bibliographic record

Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2009;47(2):281-287.

Authors

Yvetta Koeva
Mariana Bakalska
Nina Atanassova
Katerina Georgieva
Michail Davidoff

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