In target tissues, leptin receptor (Ob-R) gene expression results in an array of alternatively spliced isoforms (Ob-Ra to Ob-Rf) with different functional features. Recent evidence has pointed to a direct role of leptin in the control of testicular function. However, complete elucidation of the pattern of Ob-R gene expression in the male gonad is still pending. The focus of this study was to characterize in detail the developmental pattern of expression and hormonal regulation of Ob-R gene in rat testis. To this end, the overall expression of Ob-R mRNA was compared to that of the fully functional, long Ob-Rb isoform in different experimental settings, using semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Expression of Ob-R mRNA was detected in testes from 15-, 30-, 45-, and 75-day-old rats at rather constant relative levels. In contrast, testicular expression of Ob-Rb mRNA was higher in pubertal testes (15- to 30-day-old rats) and declined in adulthood. In testes from 30-day-old animals, analysis of isoform distribution revealed that, in addition to abundant Ob-Rb mRNA levels, expression of Ob-Ra, Ob-Rf, and, to a lesser extent, Ob-Rc and Ob-Re messages is detected. Testicular Ob-R mRNA expression appeared sensitive to neonatal imprinting as neonatal treatment with estradiol benzoate (500 μg/rat; Day 1 postpartum) resulted in a persistent increase (P < 0.01) in the relative expression level of Ob-R mRNA, a phenomenon only partially mimicked by neonatal suppression of serum gonadotropins by means of LHRH-antagonist administration. In addition, neonatal estrogenization differentially altered the pattern of expression of Ob-R isoforms in adult rat testis, as expression of Ob-Rb mRNA was decreased to undetectable levels, whereas that of Ob-Rc remained unaltered, and Ob-Ra, Ob-Rf, and, to a lesser extent, Ob-Re mRNA levels were significantly increased (P < 0.01) by neonatal exposure to estrogen. Finally, down-regulation of testicular Ob-R gene expression by homologous and heterologous signals was demonstrated as relative levels of Ob-R and Ob-Rb mRNAs were significantly decreased (P < 0.01), in a coordinate manner, in rat testis after exposure to human recombinant leptin in vitro, and after stimulation with hCG and FSH in vivo. In conclusion, our results indicate that testicular Ob-R gene expression is developmentally regulated, imprinted by the neonatal endocrine milieu, and sensitive to regulation by leptin and gonadotropins. The ability of pivotal signals in testicular function to regulate Ob-R gene expression further supports the contention of a direct role of leptin in functional control of the rat testis.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.