Changed levels of endogenous sex steroids in women on oral contraceptives.
Serum and urinary levels of unconjugated testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and oestradiol were measured by specific radioimmunoassays in 10 healthy women in the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle and in nine healthy women taking oral contraceptives. The contraceptive group had testosterone levels 1-3 times higher and dihydrotestosterone levels two times higher than those in the controls. Serum oestradiol levels in the contraceptive group were much lower than those in the controls and similar to levels in postmenopausal women. The contraceptive group had about twice the urinary excretion of unconjugated (free) testosterone and dihydrotestosterone of the controls, but their excretion of unconjugated oestradiol was 2-7 times lower. The great increase in serum and urinary androgen concentrations, as well as the suppression of oestradiol, may be related to the antiovulatory effect of oral contraceptives. (+info)
The effects of androgens and antiandrogens on hormone-responsive human breast cancer in long-term tissue culture.
We have examined five human breast cancer cell lines in continuous tissue culture for androgen responsiveness. One of these cell lines shows a 2- to 4-fold stimulation of thymidine incorporation into DNA, apparent as early as 10 hr following androgen addition to cells incubated in serum-free medium. This stimulation is accompanied by an acceleration in cell replication. Antiandrogens [cyproterone acetate (6-chloro-17alpha-acetate-1,2alpha-methylene-4,6-pregnadiene-3,20-dione) and R2956 (17beta-hydroxy-2,2,17alpha-trimethoxyestra-4,9,11-triene-1-one)] inhibit both protein and DNA synthesis below control levels and block androgen-mediated stimulation. Prolonged incubation (greater than 72 hr) in antiandrogen is lethal. The MCF- cell line contains high-affinity receptors for androgenic steroids demonstrable by sucrose density gradients and competitive protein binding analysis. By cross-competition studies, androgen receptors are distinguishable from estrogen receptors also found in this cell line. Concentrations of steroid that saturate androgen receptor sites in vitro are about 1000 times lower than concentrations that maximally stimulate the cells. Changes in quantity and affinity of androgen binding to intact cells at 37 degrees as compared with usual binding techniques using cytosol preparation at 0 degrees do not explain this difference between dissociation of binding and effect. However, this difference can be explained by conversion of [3H]-5alpha-dihydrotestosterone to 5alpha-androstanediol and more polar metabolites at 37 degrees. An examination of incubation media, cytoplasmic extracts and crude nuclear pellets reveals probable conversion of [3H]testosterone to [3H]-5alpha-dihydrotestosterone. Our data provide compelling evidence that some human breast cancer, at least in vitro, may be androgen dependent. (+info)
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)
Sex differences in the effects of early neocortical injury on neuronal size distribution of the medial geniculate nucleus in the rat are mediated by perinatal gonadal steroids.
Freezing injury to the cortical plate of rats induces cerebrocortical microgyria and, in males but not females, a shift toward greater numbers of small neurons in the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN). The purpose of the current study was to examine a hormonal basis for this sex difference. Cross-sectional neuronal areas of the MGN were measured in male rats, untreated female rats and female rats treated perinatally with testosterone propionate, all of which had received either neonatal cortical freezing or sham injury. Both male and androgenized female rats with microgyria had significantly smaller MGN neurons when compared to their sham-operated counterparts, whereas untreated females with microgyria did not. These differences were also reflected in MGN neuronal size distribution: both male and androgenized female rats with microgyria had more small and fewer large neurons in their MGN in comparison to shams, while there was no difference in MGN neuronal size distribution between lesioned and sham females. These findings suggest that perinatal gonadal steroids mediate the sex difference in thalamic response to induction of microgyria in the rat cortex. (+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)
Sex steroid and prolactin profiles in male American black bears (Ursus americanus) during denning.
Serum sex steroid and prolactin profiles were examined in the male American black bear, Ursus americanus during denning. Sera collected in December and the following March from 8 denning male black bears in Minnesota, U.S.A. were assayed for testosterone, estradiol-17 beta and prolactin. Eight bears were confirmed to be the denning mode based on a serum urea to creatinine ratio less than 10. Serum testosterone concentrations tended to increase from December to the subsequent March whereas serum estradiol-17 beta concentrations tended to decrease during this period. There were few changes in serum prolactin concentrations between December and March. These findings suggest that spermatogenesis and testicular steroidogenesis initiated during denning may be influenced by changes in serum sex steroid concentrations in the American black bear. (+info)
BDNF mediates the effects of testosterone on the survival of new neurons in an adult brain.
New neurons are incorporated into the high vocal center (HVC), a nucleus of the adult canary (Serinus canaria) brain that plays a critical role in the acquisition and production of learned song. Recruitment of new neurons in the HVC is seasonally regulated and depends upon testosterone levels. We show here that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is present in the HVC of adult males but is not detectable in that of females, though the HVC of both sexes has BDNF receptors (TrkB). Testosterone treatment increases the levels of BDNF protein in the female HVC, and BDNF infused into the HVC of adult females triples the number of new neurons. Infusion of a neutralizing antibody to BDNF blocks the testosterone-induced increase in new neurons. Our results demonstrate that BDNF is involved in the regulation of neuronal replacement in the adult canary brain and suggest that the effects of testosterone are mediated through BDNF. (+info)