Human fetal testis: source of estrogen and target of estrogen action
Authors: Boukari, Kahina; Ciampi, Maria Luisa; Guiochon-Mantel, Anne; Young, Jacques; Lombs, Marc; Meduri, Geri
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 22, Number 7, 18 July 2007 , pp. 1885-1892(8)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:BACKGROUNDEstrogens are involved in masculine fertility and spermatogenesis. However, little is known about estrogen involvement in human testicular organogenesis. Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the cellular sources and targets of estrogens and their variations in the human testis during fetal development. Expression profiles of aromatase (CYP19) and estrogen receptors (ER) and were analysed in human fetal testes at various gestational stages by immunohistochemistry and quantitative RTPCR.METHODSFifty-four archival paraffin-embedded and four frozen fetal testes were studied by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR. Tissue quality was confirmed by histology and expression of specific functional markers: androgenic enzymes for Leydig cells, anti-Mllerian hormone for Sertoli cells and Steel factor receptor for germ cells.RESULTSWe demonstrate that the human fetal testes express aromatase and ER simultaneously in Sertoli, Leydig and germ cells but are devoid of ER. Quantification of positive cells indicates a window of protein expression, especially between 13 and 2224 weeks. Quantitative RTPCR confirmed that the human fetal testis expresses CYP19 and ER but not ER mRNA.CONCLUSIONSOur findings suggest that locally produced estrogens influence human testicular development through autocrine and paracrine mechanisms, most notably during the period of maximal testicular susceptibility to endocrine disruptors.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-07-18
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.