Cytochrome P450 aromatase in the testis of immature and mature pigs.Reprod Biol. 2001 Jul; 1(1):51-9.RB
Aromatization of androgens into estrogens is performed by a microsomal enzyme, the cytochrome P450 aromatase. A direct approach for identifying the cellular source of aromatase is the use of immunohistochemistry with a specific antibody that recognizes aromatase. The pig presents some unusual features with regard to the synthesis of testosterone and estrogens in the male gonads. In testes from prepubertal males, testosterone level measured radioimmunologically, was lower than in testes from adult pig, while estrogen secretion was relatively high and comparable to that of mature porcine gonads. Immunolocalization of aromatase in testes from both immature and mature pigs was confined to the Leydig cell cytoplasm. The intensity of immunohistochemical staining indicated the presence of unsynchronous Leydig cell population. Other somatic cells and germ cells were negative for aromatase. In control tissue sections, incubated in the absence of the primary antibody or in the presence of normal rabbit serum, no positive staining was observed. Western blot analysis revealed one major band of aromatase about 50-52 kDa in testes from both immature and mature pigs.