Kinetics of neuroendocrine differentiation in an androgen-dependent human prostate xenograft model. (1/2065)

It was previously shown in the PC-295 xenograft that the number of chromogranin A (CgA)-positive neuroendocrine (NE) cells increased after androgen withdrawal. NE cells did not proliferate and differentiated from G0-phase-arrested cells. Here we further characterized NE differentiation, androgen receptor status, and apoptosis-associated Bcl-2 expression in the PC-295 model after androgen withdrawal to assess the origin of NE cells. PC-295 tumor volumes decreased by 50% in 4 days. Intraperitoneal bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation and MIB-1 labeling decreased to 0%, and the apoptosis was maximal at day 4. Androgen receptor expression and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) serum levels decreased rapidly within 2 days. The number of NE cells increased 6-fold at day 4 and 30-fold at day 7. Five and ten percent of the CgA-positive cells were BrdU positive after continuous BrdU labeling for 2 and 4 days, respectively. However, no MIB-1 expression was observed in CgA-positive cells. NE cells expressed the regulated secretory pathway marker secretogranin III but were negative for androgen receptor and Bcl-2. Bcl-2 expression did increase in the non-NE tumor cells. In conclusion, androgen withdrawal leads to a rapid PC-295 tumor regression and a proliferation-independent induction of NE differentiation. The strictly androgen-independent NE cells that were still present after 21 days differentiated mainly from G0-phase-arrested cells.  (+info)

The effects of low-copper diets with or without supplemental molybdenum on specific immune responses of stressed cattle. (2/2065)

Angus bull calves (n = 42; 7 mo of age; 254 kg initial BW) were used to investigate the effects of dietary Cu and Mo on immune function of stressed cattle. Randomly selected calves (n = 22) were injected with 90 mg of Cu as Cu glycinate 28 d before weaning and castrated at weaning. These calves received 7.5 and 5 mg of supplemental Cu/kg of DM during a 41-d receiving phase and a 196-d growing phase, respectively. The remainder of the steers received no supplemental Cu during the experiment. Copper-supplemented steers had adequate Cu status at weaning, whereas unsupplemented calves were marginally Cu-deficient. Cell-mediated response to intradermal injection of phytohemagglutinin was not affected by dietary treatment during the receiving phase. During the growing phase, half of the steers in each Cu treatment were given 5 mg of supplemental Mo/kg of DM. Copper supplementation increased (P<.05) humoral response to ovalbumin injected on d 133 of the growing phase. On d 168 of the growing phase, calves receiving only supplemental Mo were severely Cu-deficient based on plasma and liver Cu concentrations. The other treatment groups had adequate Cu status. Before feeding on d 168 of the growing phase, half of the steers were loaded onto trailers and transported 2.5 h, and they remained on the trailers an additional 9.5 h. Humoral response to porcine erythrocytes (PRBC) and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to dinitrochlorobenzene was tested at the end of the stress period. There was a Cu x stress interaction for humoral response to PRBC, with Cu decreasing antibody titers in unstressed calves and increasing titers in stressed steers. Stressed steers had lower (P = .03) ADG during the 28 d following stress. The results of this study indicate that Cu deficiency and 5 mg of supplemental Mo/kg of DM do not dramatically alter the specific immunity of stressed cattle.  (+info)

Semen quality and reproductive hormones before orchiectomy in men with testicular cancer. (3/2065)

PURPOSE: To obtain information about preorchiectomy gonadal function in patients with testicular germ cell cancer to improve the clinical management of fertility and other andrologic aspects in these men. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In group 1, a group of 83 consecutive patients with testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) investigated before orchiectomy, semen analysis was carried out in 63 patients and hormonal investigations, including measurement of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), inhibin B, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in 71 patients. Hormone levels in patients with elevated hCG (n = 41) were analyzed separately. To discriminate between general cancer effects and specific effects associated with TGCC, the same analyses were carried out in a group of 45 consecutive male patients with malignant lymphoma (group 2). Group 3 comprised 141 men employed in a Danish company who served as controls in the comparison of semen parameters. As a control group in hormone investigations, 193 men were selected randomly from the Danish National Personal Register to make up group 4. RESULTS: We found significantly lower sperm concentration (median, 15 x 10(6)/mL; range, 0 to 128 x 10(6)/mL) and total sperm count (median, 29 x 10(6)/mL; range, 0 to 589 x 10(6)) in patients with testicular cancer than in patients with malignant lymphomas (sperm concentration: median, 48 x 10(6)/mL; range, 0.04 to 250 x 10(6)/mL; sperm count: median, 146 x 10(6); range, 0.05 to 418 x 10(6)) (P < .001 and P < .001) and healthy men (sperm concentration: median, 48 x 10(6)/mL; range, 0 to 402 x 10(6)/mL; sperm count: median, 162 x 10(6); range, 0 to 1253 x 10(6)) (P < .001 and P < .001). FSH levels were increased in men with testicular cancer (median, 5.7 IU/L; range, 2.0 to 27 IU/L) compared with both men with malignant lymphomas (median, 3.3 IU/L; range, 1.01 to 12.0 IU/L) and healthy controls (median, 4.1 IU/L; range, 1.04 to 21 IU/L)(P = .001 and P = .007, respectively). Surprisingly, we found significantly lower LH in the group of men with TGCC (median, 3.6 IU/L; range, 1.12 to 11.9 IU/L) than in healthy men (median, 4.7 IU/L; range, 1.3 to 11.9 IU/L) (P = .01). We could not detect any differences between men with testicular cancer and men with malignant lymphomas and healthy men with regard to serum levels of testosterone, SHBG, and estradiol. Men with testicular cancer who had increased hCG levels had significantly lower LH and significantly higher testosterone and estradiol than those without detectable hCG levels. CONCLUSION: Spermatogenesis is already impaired in men with testicular cancer before orchiectomy. Neither local suppression of spermatogenesis by tumor pressure nor a general cancer effect seems to fully explain this impairment. The most likely explanation is preexisting impairment of spermatogenesis in the contralateral testis in men with testicular cancer. The question of whether also a pre-existing Leydig cell dysfunction is present in men with testicular cancer could not be answered in this study because the tumor seems to have a direct effect on the Leydig cells. Men with testicular cancer had low LH values as compared with controls. We speculate that increased intratesticular level of hCG also in men without measurable serum hCG may play a role by exerting LH-like effects on the Leydig cells, causing increased testosterone and estrogen levels and low LH values in the blood.  (+info)

Suppression of the secretion of luteinizing hormone due to isolation/restraint stress in gonadectomised rams and ewes is influenced by sex steroids. (4/2065)

In this study we used an isolation/restraint stress to test the hypothesis that stress will affect the secretion of LH differently in gonadectomised rams and ewes treated with different combinations of sex steroids. Romney Marsh sheep were gonadectomised two weeks prior to these experiments. In the first experiment male and female sheep were treated with vehicle or different sex steroids for 7 days prior to the application of the isolation/restraint stress. Male sheep received either i.m. oil (control rams) or 6 mg testosterone propionate injections every 12 h. Female sheep were given empty s.c. implants (control ewes), or 2x1 cm s.c. implants containing oestradiol, or an intravaginal controlled internal drug release device containing 0.3 g progesterone, or the combination of oestradiol and progesterone. There were four animals in each group. On the day of application of the isolation/restraint stress, blood samples were collected every 10 min for 16 h for the subsequent measurement of plasma LH and cortisol concentrations. After 8 h the stress was applied for 4 h. Two weeks later, blood samples were collected for a further 16 h from the control rams and ewes, but on this day no stress was imposed. In the second experiment, separate control gonadectomised rams and ewes (n=4/group) were studied for 7 h on 3 consecutive days, when separate treatments were applied. On day 1, the animals received no treatment; on day 2, isolation/restraint stress was applied after 3 h; and on day 3, an i. v. injection of 2 microg/kg ACTH1-24 was given after 3 h. On each day, blood samples were collected every 10 min and the LH response to the i.v. injection of 500 ng GnRH administered after 5 h of sampling was measured. In Experiment 1, the secretion of LH was suppressed during isolation/restraint in all groups but the parameters of LH secretion (LH pulse frequency and amplitude) that were affected varied between groups. In control rams, LH pulse amplitude, and not frequency, was decreased during isolation/restraint whereas in rams treated with testosterone propionate the stressor reduced pulse frequency and not amplitude. In control ewes, isolation/restraint decreased LH pulse frequency but not amplitude. Isolation/restraint reduced both LH pulse frequency and amplitude in ewes treated with oestradiol, LH pulse frequency in ewes treated with progesterone and only LH pulse amplitude in ewes treated with both oestradiol and progesterone. There was no change in LH secretion during the day of no stress. Plasma concentrations of cortisol were higher during isolation/restraint than on the day of no stress. On the day of isolation/restraint maximal concentrations of cortisol were observed during the application of the stressor but there were no differences between groups in the magnitude of this response. In Experiment 2, isolation/restraint reduced the LH response to GnRH in rams but not ewes and ACTH reduced the LH response to GnRH both in rams and ewes. Our results show that the mechanism(s) by which isolation/restraint stress suppresses LH secretion in sheep is influenced by sex steroids. The predominance of particular sex steroids in the circulation may affect the extent to which stress inhibits the secretion of GnRH from the hypothalamus and/or the responsiveness of the pituitary gland to the actions of GnRH. There are also differences between the sexes in the effects of stress on LH secretion that are independent of the sex steroids.  (+info)

Modulation of rat preadipocyte adipose conversion by androgenic status: involvement of C/EBPs transcription factors. (5/2065)

Androgenic status affects rat preadipocyte adipose conversion from two deep intra-abdominal (epididymal and perirenal) fat depots differently. The aim of this study was to establish whether these site-specific alterations of adipogenesis are related to altered expressions of the transcriptional factors regulating proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes, c-myc and CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs: C/EBPalpha and beta). The increased proliferation of epididymal and perirenal preadipocytes from castrated rats was not linked to variations in c-myc mRNA and protein levels. The expression of the early marker of adipogenesis, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), was decreased by androgenic deprivation in epididymal cells but remained insensitive to the androgenic status in perirenal preadipocytes. In contrast, LPL expression increased in subcutaneous preadipocytes from castrated rats, an effect which was partly corrected by testosterone treatment. Expression of C/EBPbeta was unaffected by androgenic status whatever the anatomical origin of the preadipocytes. In contrast, the mRNA and protein levels of C/EBPalpha were greatly decreased by androgenic deprivation in epididymal cells, an alteration which could not be corrected by in vivo testosterone administration. Altogether these results demonstrated that in preadipocytes androgenic deprivation affects site-specifically the expression of LPL, an early marker of adipogenesis and of C/EBPalpha, a master regulator of adipogenesis. These observations contribute to an explanation of why castration induces defective adipose conversion in rat epididymal preadipocytes specifically.  (+info)

Natural androgens inhibit male atherosclerosis: a study in castrated, cholesterol-fed rabbits. (6/2065)

The effect of natural androgens on serum lipids and atherosclerosis is controversial. We therefore studied this important issue prospectively in an animal model of atherosclerosis. Eighty male rabbits were randomized to bilateral castration, and 20 animals were sham operated. The castrated rabbits were randomized to 500 mg oral dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) daily, 80 mg oral testosterone undecanoate (TU) daily, or 25-mg intramuscular injection of testosterone enanthate (TE) twice weekly, whereas the fourth castrated group (placebo) and the sham-operated rabbits did not receive any hormones. All animals were fed a cholesterol-rich diet during the 30-week treatment period. Average serum lipids and atherogenic lipoproteins were higher in the placebo group than in the other groups (ANOVA, P<0.0001). Aortic atherosclerosis, as evaluated by the cholesterol content (nmol/mg protein), was also highest in the placebo group (308+/-39) and lowest in the TE group (61+/-12), but was intermediate in the DHEA (155+/-30), TU (191+/-43), and sham operation (162+/-29) groups (ANOVA, P<0.0001). ANCOVA indicated that the androgen effect on aortic atherosclerosis was only in part explained by the changes in lipoproteins. Aortic estrogen receptor contents were significantly lower in the androgen-treated groups than in the control groups, whereas there was no difference in aortic androgen receptor contents between groups. Natural androgens inhibit aortic atherosclerosis in castrated male rabbits only partly through a lipid-mediated effect.  (+info)

Alteration in sexually dimorphic testosterone biotransformation profiles as a biomarker of chemically induced androgen disruption in mice. (7/2065)

Assessment of the impact of environmental chemicals on androgen homeostasis in rodent models is confounded by high intraindividual and interindividual variability in circulating testosterone levels. Our goal was to evaluate changes in testosterone biotransformation processes as a measure of androgen homeostasis and as a biomarker of exposure to androgen-disrupting chemicals. Sex-specific differences in hepatic testosterone biotransformation enzyme activities were identified in CD-1 mice. Gonadectomy followed by replacement of individual steroid hormones identified specific sex differences in biotransformation profiles that were due to the inductive or suppressive effects of testosterone. Notably, significant androgen-dependent differences in testosterone 6[alpha]- and 15[alpha]-hydroxylase activities were demonstrated, and the ratio of 6[alpha]- and 15[alpha]-hydroxylase activities proved to be an excellent indicator of the androgen status within the animal. The male or "masculinized" testosterone 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio was significantly less than the female or "feminized" ratio. Male mice were exposed to both an antiandrogen, vinclozolin, and to a compound that modulates serum androgen levels, indole-3-carbinol, to test the utility of this ratio as a biomarker of androgen disruption. Treatment with the antiandrogen vinclozolin significantly increased the 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio. Indole-3-carbinol treatment resulted in a dose-dependent, but highly variable, decrease in serum testosterone levels. The 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio increased as serum testosterone levels decreased in these animals. However, the increase in the ratio was much less variable and more sensitive than serum testosterone levels. These investigations demonstrate that the 6[alpha]/15[alpha]-hydroxylase ratio is a powerful measure of androgen modulation and a sensitive indicator of exposure to androgen-disrupting chemicals in CD-1 mice.  (+info)

Granule cells in aging rats are sexually dimorphic in their response to estradiol. (8/2065)

Normal aging comprises cognitive decline, including deterioration of memory. It has been suggested that this decline in memory is sexually dimorphic because of the cessation in gonadal steroid secretion that occurs during reproductive aging in female, but not male, mammals. We wondered whether neurons in brain regions associated with learning and memory underwent morphological changes that were dimorphic as well and whether cessation of the secretion of gonadal steroids influenced these morphological changes. To explore these questions, we deprived and restored estrogens to young and old gonadectomized females and males and studied the morphology of dentate granule cells by intracellular dye filling in a lightly fixed slice preparation. We found the following: (1) Aged female dentate granule cells deprived of gonadal steroids long-term have a paucity of dendritic spines compared with young females deprived short-term; however, aged male dentate granule cells deprived of gonadal steroids long-term have no decrease in dendritic spines compared with young males deprived short-term. (2) Aged female dentate granule cells with long-term estrogen replacement at either high or low levels still had a decline in spine density. (3) Aged female dentate granule cells with short-term estradiol replacement had spine density increased to levels normally observed in young adults, whereas aged males with short-term estradiol replacement had decreased spine density. These data suggest that the response of rat dentate granule cells to aging and estradiol is sexually dimorphic and that, in females, the responsiveness of granule cells depends on the temporal pattern of estradiol replacement.  (+info)