Distinct testicular steroidogenic response mechanisms between neonatal and adult heat-acclimated male rats.

Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology

PubMedID: 25832132

Kurowicka B, Chrusciel M, Zmijewska A, Doroszko M, Kotwica G, Rahman NA. Distinct testicular steroidogenic response mechanisms between neonatal and adult heat-acclimated male rats. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2015;35(5):1729-43.
BACKGROUND
In comparison to short-term gonad heat exposure, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate testicular steroidogenesis during long-term whole body heat acclimation.

MATERIAL AND METHODS
Testicular slices from neonatal (NHA) and adult (AHA) heat-acclimated Wistar rats were analysed in vitro to assess the mRNA expression and enzymatic activity of steroidogenic enzymes under basal and luteinising hormone (LH) or prolactin (PRL) stimulated conditions compared with control rats (CR). Furthermore, a de-acclimated group (DA) was created by transferring adult NHA rats to control conditions.

RESULTS
Heat acclimation significantly increased plasma LH levels in the AHA group and LH and PRL in the NHA group compared with the CR group; however, after heat acclimation, the T and E2 levels did not differ from the control levels. All heat-acclimated groups showed high basal intra-testicular steroid production in vitro. Moreover, basal Cyp11a1 and Hsd3b1 levels were upregulated in vitro in the NHA and DA groups versus the CR group. LH in vitro stimulation upregulated Cyp11a1 expression in the NHA and AHA groups and PRL stimulation upregulated Cyp17a1 levels in the NHA and DA groups compared with the basal expression levels. In the AHA group, decreased basal Star and CYP11A activities but increased HSD3B1 and CYP17A1 activities were found.

CONCLUSION
Our data revealed that despite the similar steroid levels in plasma and secreted in vitro by neonatal and adult heat-acclimated rat testicular slices, the molecular mechanisms underlying the steroidogenic response to heat acclimation during these different developmental stages were distinct. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.