Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: OR52-Reproductive Axis Determination, Development & Transgender Medicine
Tuesday, June 18, 2013: 9:15 AM-10:45 AM
Presentation Start Time: 9:45 AM
Room 104 (Moscone Center)
Esperanza Beatriz Berensztein*1, Tony M Plant2, Romina Sainz1, Diego Chirico1, Roberto Ponzio3, Marco A Rivarola1 and Alicia Belgorosky1
1Hospital de Pediatria Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 3School of Medicine, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The role played by estrogens in testis development and function is not clear. We have previously described that estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is not expressed in the prepubertal human testis (HT) from birth until 5 years of age1. In contrast to rodents, the extended testicular quiescence during the juvenile phase of development in the rhesus monkey provides an excellent model for the human situation. AIMS: To study 1) the postnatal ontogenesis of ERα expression by immunohistochemistry in HT and in rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) testis (MT): also a higher primate, 2) the effect of in vivo LH and FSH stimulation on ERα immunoexpression in juvenile MT. RESULTS:  In pubertal MT (38 to 51 months old, n=4), ERα expression was found in primary spermatocytes (67.8 ± 9.1%) and in immature spermatids (100%), while in adults (n=5),  high expression of this receptor was limited to mature spermatids (100%). Similarly, in adult HT, ERα expression was detected in postmeiotic germ cells (GC). In the interstitium of adult MT, Leydig cells (LC) showed a strong expression of ERα (100 %, n=5), which compared to a low level prior to puberty (< 5%, n=10). Interestingly, in peritubular cells (PC) of neonatal and infant MT, expression of ERα was absent but was detected in juvenile (14-36 months, n=4, 24%) and pubertal (38-51 months, n=4, 54%) PC. In HT LC, a significant increase in ERα expression was seen in the pubertal period (95.5 ± 6.12, x ± ES, % of positive cells, n=5) compared with the infant (< 5%, n=10). Expression of ERα was not detected in Sertoli cells (SC) or in spermatogonia at any age in either HT or MT. Gonadotropin stimulation of juvenile MT for 11 days dramatically increased the % of interstitial cells (IC) expressing ERα: FSH, 71±10%, n=4; LH, 75±15%, n=4; and FSH+LH, 78±12, n=4. ERα expression in IC during gonadotropin treatment was significantly greater than that during vehicle (< 5%, n=4). In conclusion, the developmental pattern of ERα expression in HT and MT is similar. In both species, ERα expression in GC and LC is markedly upregulated at puberty, presumable as a result of increased gonadotropin stimulation. In contrast to mature LC, ERα is not expressed in early post natal LC.  Estrogens in mature LC might modulate steroidogenesis, particularly by reducing the expression of several important steroidogenic factors. This study has identified primate testicular cells (ERα positive) that might be potential targets of estrogen actions, including those associated with endocrine disrupting compounds..

Berensztein E,  Baquedano MS, Gonzalez CR, Saraco NI, Rodríguez J,  Ponzio R,  Rivarola MA,  Belgorosky A. (2006) Expression of aromatase, estrogen receptor alpha and beta, androgen receptor and cP450scc, in the human early prepubertal testis. Pediatr Res 60(6):740-4

Nothing to Disclose: EBB, TMP, RS, DC, RP, MAR, AB

*Please take note of The Endocrine Society's News Embargo Policy at http://www.endo-society.org/endo2013/media.cfm

Sources of Research Support: Supported by FONCYT PICT:2008 0347,Argentina