Effect of sex difference on the in vitro and in vivo metabolism of aflatoxin B1 by the rat.
Hepatic microsome-catalyzed metabolism of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) to aflatoxin M1 and aflatoxin Q1 and the "metabolic activation" of AFB1 to DNA-alylating metabolite(s) were studied in normal male and female Sprague-Dawley rats, in gonadectomized animals, and in castrated males and normal females treated with testosterone. Microsomes from male animals formed 2 to 5 times more aflatoxin M1, aflatoxin Q1, and DNA-alkylating metabolite(s) than those from females. Castration reduced the metabolism of AFB1 by the microsomes from males by about 50%, whereas ovariectomy had no significant effect on AFB1 metabolism by the microsomes from females. Testosterone treatment (4 mg/rat, 3 times/week for about 6 weeks) of castrated immature males and immature females enhanced the metabolism of AFB1 by their microsomes. A sex difference in the metabolism of AFB1 by liver microsomes was also seen in other strains of rats tested: Wistar, Long-Evans, and Fischer. The activity of kidney microsomes for metabolic activation was 1 to 4% that of the liver activity and was generally lower in microsomes from male rats as compared to those from female rats of Sprague-Dawley, Wistar, and Long-Evans strains. The in vitro results obtained with hepatic microsomes correlated well with the in vivo metabolism of AFB1, in that more AFB1 became bound in vivo to hepatic DNA isolated from male rats and from a female rat treated with testosterone than that isolated from control female rats. These data suggest that the differences in hepatic AFB1 metabolism may be the underlying cause of the sex difference in toxicity and carcinogenicity of AFB1 observed in rats. (+info
Expression of novel alternatively spliced isoforms of the oct-1 transcription factor.
Analysis of the alternatively spliced isoforms of the human and mouse oct-1 genes, combined with their exon-intron structure, show a high level of evolutionary conservation between these two species. The differential expression of several oct-1 isoforms was examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction performed on the 3' region of the murine oct-1 cDNA. Variations in the relative levels and patterns of expression of the isoforms were found among different tissues. Three novel isoforms originating from the 3'-distal region of oct-1, were isolated and sequenced: Two were derived from testis, and one from myeloma cells. Splicing out of different exons as revealed in the structure of these isoforms results in reading frameshifts that presumably lead to the expression of shortened Oct-1 proteins, with distinct C-terminal tails. Altogether, six out of the eight known murine oct-1 isoforms may have distinct C-termini, implying that these multiple tails have different functional roles in cellular differentiation and physiology. (+info
Differential regulation of p21waf-1/cip-1 and Mdm2 by etoposide: etoposide inhibits the p53-Mdm2 autoregulatory feedback loop.
The Mdm2 protein is frequently overexpressed in human non-seminomatous germ cell tumours and transitional carcinoma of the bladder where it may contribute to tolerance of wtp53. Mdm2 forms an autoregulatory feedback loop with p53; the Mdm2 gene is responsive to transactivation by p53 and once synthesized the Mdm2 protein terminates the p53 response. We show here that the topoisomerase poison etoposide, like ultra violet irradiation, inhibits Mdm2 synthesis. Cytotoxic concentrations of etoposide (IC90 for > 3 h) result in inhibition of Mdm2 induction at both the RNA and protein level. Rapid apoptosis ensues. Global transcription is not inhibited: p21waf-1/cip1 and GADD45 expression increase in a dose dependent manner. Inhibition of Mdm2 synthesis depends on the continuous presence of etoposide, suggesting the DNA damage may prevent transcription. Downregulation of Mdm2 transcript occurs in cells expressing HPV16-E6 suggesting that inhibition of Mdm2 transcription is p53-independent. When cells are -treated with a pulse (1 h) of etoposide and reincubated in drug free medium, Mdm2 synthesis commences immediately after damage is repaired (3 h) and the p53 response is attenuated. Induction of apoptosis and loss of clonogenicity are 3-5-fold lower under pulse treatment conditions. This is the first observation of inhibition of Mdm2 transcription following treatment with topoisomerase (topo II) poisons, a feature that may be useful in tumour types where p53 is tolerated by overexpression of Mdm2. (+info
Glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase in ram and stallion epididymal fluids: origin and regulation.
Microsequencing after two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed a major protein, glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS) in the anterior epididymal region fluid of the ram and stallion. In this epididymal region, PGDS was a polymorphic compound with a molecular mass around 30 kDa and a range of pI from 4 to 7. PGDS represented 15% and 8% of the total luminal proteins present in this region in the ram and stallion, respectively. The secretion of the protein as judged by in vitro biosynthesis, and the presence of its mRNA as studied by Northern blot analysis, were limited to the proximal caput epididymidis. Using a specific polyclonal antibody raised against a synthetic peptide, PGDS was found throughout the epididymis, decreasing in concentration toward the cauda region. PGDS was also detected in the testicular fluid and seminal plasma by Western blotting. Castration and efferent duct ligation in the ram led to a decrease in PGDS mRNA and secretion. PGDS mRNA was not detected in the stallion 1 mo after castration, and it was restored by testosterone supplementation. This study showed that PGDS is present in the environment of spermatozoa throughout the male genital tract. Its function in the maturation and/or protection of spermatozoa is unknown. (+info
Identification of a nuclear localization signal in activin/inhibin betaA subunit; intranuclear betaA in rat spermatogenic cells.
Activin is a dimeric glycoprotein hormone that was initially characterized by its ability to stimulate pituitary FSH secretion and was subsequently recognized as a growth factor with diverse biological functions in a large variety of tissues. In the testis, activin has been implicated in the auto/paracrine regulation of spermatogenesis through its cognate cell membrane receptors on Sertoli and germ cells. In this study we provide evidence for intranuclear activin/inhibin betaA subunit and show its distribution in the rat seminiferous epithelium. We have shown by transient expression in HeLa cells of beta-galactosidase fusion proteins that the betaA subunit precursor contains a functional nuclear localization signal within the lysine-rich sequence corresponding to amino acids 231-244. In all stages of the rat seminiferous epithelial cycle, an intense immunohistochemical staining of nuclear betaA was demonstrated in intermediate or type B spermatogonia or primary spermatocytes in their initial stages of the first meiotic prophase, as well as in pachytene spermatocytes and elongating spermatids primarily in stages IX-XII. In some pachytene spermatocytes, the pattern of betaA immunoreactivity was consistent with the characteristic distribution of pachytene chromosomes. In the nuclei of round spermatids, betaA immunoreactivity was less intense, and in late spermatids it was localized in the residual cytoplasm, suggesting disposal of betaA before spermatozoal maturation. Immunoblot analysis of a protein extract from isolated testicular nuclei revealed a nuclear betaA species with a molecular mass of approximately 24 kDa, which is more than 1.5 times that of the mature activin betaA subunit present in activin dimers. These results suggest that activin/inhibin betaA may elicit its biological functions through two parallel signal transduction pathways, one involving the dimeric molecule and cell surface receptors and the other an alternately processed betaA sequence acting directly within the nucleus. According to our immunohistochemical data, betaA may play a significant role in the regulation of nuclear functions during meiosis and spermiogenesis. (+info
Prolactin replacement fails to inhibit reactivation of gonadotropin secretion in rams treated with melatonin under long days.
This study tested the hypothesis that prolactin (PRL) inhibits gonadotropin secretion in rams maintained under long days and that treatment with melatonin (s.c. continuous-release implant; MEL-IMP) reactivates the reproductive axis by suppressing PRL secretion. Adult Soay rams were maintained under long days (16L:8D) and received 1) no further treatment (control, C); 2) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and injections of saline/vehicle for the first 8 wk (M); 3) MEL-IMP for 16 wk and exogenous PRL (s.c. 5 mg ovine PRL 3x daily) for the first 8 wk (M+P). The treatment with melatonin induced a rapid increase in the blood concentrations of FSH and testosterone, rapid growth of the testes, an increase in the frequency of LH pulses, and a decrease in the LH response to N-methyl-D,L-aspartic acid. The concomitant treatment with exogenous PRL had no effect on these reproductive responses but caused a significant delay in the timing of the sexual skin color and growth of the winter pelage. These results do not support the hypothesis and suggest that PRL at physiological long-day concentrations, while being totally ineffective as an inhibitor of gonadotropin secretion, acts in the peripheral tissues and skin to maintain summer characteristics. (+info
Effects of spinal cord injury on spermatogenesis and the expression of messenger ribonucleic acid for Sertoli cell proteins in rat Sertoli cell-enriched testes.
The study was an examination of the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) on spermatogenesis and Sertoli cell functions in adult rats with Sertoli cell-enriched (SCE) testes. The effects of SCI on the seminiferous epithelium were characterized by abnormalities in the remaining spermatogenic cells during the first month after SCI. Three days after SCI, serum testosterone levels were 80% lower, while serum FSH and LH levels were 25% and 50% higher, respectively, than those of sham control SCE rats. At this time, the levels of mRNA for androgen receptor (AR), FSH receptor (FSH-R), and androgen-binding protein (ABP) were normal whereas those for transferrin (Trf) had decreased by 40%. Thereafter, serum testosterone levels increased, but they remained lower than those of the sham control rats 28 days after SCI; and serum FSH and LH levels returned to normal. The levels of mRNA for AR, ABP, and Trf exhibited a biphasic increase 7 days after SCI and remained elevated 28 days after SCI. FSH-R mRNA levels were also elevated 90 days after SCI. Unexpectedly, active spermatogenesis, including qualitatively complete spermatogenesis, persisted in > 40% of the tubules 90 days after SCI. These results suggest that the stem cells and/or undifferentiated spermatogonia in SCE testes are less susceptible to the deleterious effects of SCI than the normal testes and that they were able to proliferate and differentiate after SCI. The presence of elevated levels of mRNA for Sertoli cell FSH-R and AR, as well as of that for the Sertoli cell proteins, in the SCE testes during the chronic stage of SCI suggests a modification of Sertoli cell physiology. Such changes in Sertoli cell functions may provide a beneficial environment for the proliferation of the stem cells and differentiation of postmeiotic cells, thus resulting in the persistence of spermatogenesis in these testes. (+info
X inactive-specific transcript (Xist) expression and X chromosome inactivation in the preattachment bovine embryo.
Expression of the X inactive-specific transcript (Xist) is thought to be essential for the initiation of X chromosome inactivation and dosage compensation during female embryo development. In the present study, we analyzed the patterns of Xist transcription and the onset of X chromosome inactivation in bovine preattachment embryos. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed the presence of Xist transcripts in all adult female somatic tissues evaluated. In contrast, among the male tissues examined, Xist expression was detected only in testis. No evidence for Xist transcription was observed after a single round of RT-PCR from pools of in vitro-derived embryos at the 2- to 4-cell stage. Xist transcripts were detected as a faint amplicon at the 8-cell stage initially, and consistently thereafter in all stages examined up to and including the expanded blastocyst stage. Xist transcripts, however, were subsequently detected from the 2-cell stage onward after nested RT-PCR. Preferential [3H]thymidine labeling indicative of late replication of one of the X chromosomes was noted in female embryos of different developmental ages as follows: 2 of 7 (28.5%) early blastocysts, 6 of 13 (46.1%) blastocysts, 8 of 11 (72.1%) expanded blastocysts, and 14 of 17 (77.7%) hatched blastocysts. These results suggest that Xist expression precedes the onset of late replication in the bovine embryo, in a pattern compatible with a possible role of bovine Xist in the initiation of X chromosome inactivation. (+info