Our previous studies have demonstrated that tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA) might be involved in matrix degradation of blood-testis barrier in rat. In this study, we have further investigated the effect of testosterone (T) on tPA production in rat Sertoli cells. Our results showed that Sertoli cells isolated from rat testes at various ages in vitro secreted tPA in an age-dependent manner. The tPA activity was detected on day 20 after birth, and reached maximum on day 60. The Sertoli cells isolated from the testes on day 20 were then cultured in the presence or absence of testosterone, FSH, and forskolin, the tPA activities were upregulated by T, FSH and forskolin. Addition of H89 or U0126, both inhibited the testosterone-, FSH-, and forskolin-induced tPA expression. It is suggested that FSH- and testosterone-stimulated tPA expression in Sertoli cells may be via PKA and ERK signal transduction. Furthermore, we have observed that testosterone stimulated tPA secretion at all the stages of spermatogenesis (II-VI, VII-VIII, IX-XII and XIII-I), the highest stimulation of tPA activity was observed at stages VII-VIII. This study further suggests that testosterone-induced tPA activity in the Sertoli cells might be related to the function of blood-testis barrier opening and/or closing.
- Blood-testis barrier
- ERK pathway
- Tissue-type plasminogen activator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism