Desensitization of steroidogenesis in cultured Leydig tumor cells: role of cholesterol.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

PubMedID: 6296852

Freeman DA, Ascoli M. Desensitization of steroidogenesis in cultured Leydig tumor cells: role of cholesterol. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1982;79(24):7796-800.
We have reported previously that the human choriogonadotropin (hCG) receptors of cultured Leydig tumor cells can be down-regulated with hCG or mouse epidermal growth factor (mEGF) and that such down-regulation results in a loss of the steroidogenic response of the cells to hCG. Exposure of the cells to hCG, but not to mEGF, also resulted in a decrease in steroidogenic responses to cholera toxin and cAMP. The results presented herein show that the hCG-induced loss of steroidogenic response to cAMP is due to the depletion of intracellular cholesterol and that this depletion can be prevented by the addition of low density lipoprotein. Our results also show that after exposure of the cells to mEGF or hCG their steroidogenic response to hCG is limited by the number of hCG receptors, regardless of the presence of low density lipoprotein.