Peritubular cells may modulate Leydig cell mediated testosterone production through a nonclassic pathway

Peritubular cell secreted factor(s) may modulate T production by Leydig cells in a nonclassic mode, independent of StAR gene expression even in a gonadotropin-deficient environment.

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Jibanananda Mishra, Ph.D., Mukesh Gautam, M.Sc., Rajesh Dadhich, Ph.D., Bhavani S. Kowtharapu, Ph.D., Subeer S. Majumdar, Ph.D.

Vol 98, Issue 5, Pages 1308-1317.e1



To evaluate if paracrine signals are responsible for hormone independent Leydig cell (Lc) steroidogenesis in the testis.


Testicular peritubular cells (PTc), Sertoli cell (Sc) and Lc were isolated and cultured and their effect on each other was evaluated in terms of lactate production by Sc and Testosterone (T) production by Lc.


Research institution.


Wistar rats.


Testes were surgically removed and a new easily adoptable procedure for PTc was developed and culture media from Sc, PTc and Lc cultures were used for treating pure population of these cells. Cells were also co-cultured together.

Main outcome measure(s):

To assess culture or co-culture supernatants for presence of metabolites and Lc messenger RNA analysis.


Although PTc secreted factor(s) did not augment production of Sc lactate, essential for germ cell survival, they significantly (P<0.05) augmented T secretion by Lc, independent of StAR gene expression. Co-culture studies showed that T production by Lc was significantly (P<0.05) stimulated when Lc were co-cultured with PTc, even in the absence of hormones. Conclusion(s):

Testicular peritubular cell–derived factor(s) can potentially augment T production by Lc in a non-classical manner even in a gonadotropin-deficient environment.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.