Ontogeny of androgen and estrogen receptor expression in porcine testis: effect of reducing testicular estrogen synthesis.Anim Reprod Sci. 2007 Dec; 102(3-4):286-99.AR
Reducing endogenous estrogen leads to increased proliferation of porcine Sertoli cells during the first 2 months of life. The resulting increase in porcine Sertoli cell numbers is maintained through puberty. The reduced estrogen appears to be the direct hormonal mediator because essentially no changes are observed in other hormones. However, the mechanism for this effect on Sertoli cell proliferation is unknown. The objective of these studies was to evaluate estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ESR1 and ESR2) in conjunction with androgen receptor (AR) on Sertoli cells and other testicular cell types, as an initial step toward understanding how reduced estrogen leads to increased Sertoli cell numbers. Testis sections from treated animals (aromatase inhibition to decrease endogenous estrogen beginning at 1 week of age) and from littermate controls treated with vehicle were subjected to immunocytochemical labeling for ESR1, ESR2, and AR. Three observers scored Sertoli cells, interstitial cells, peritubular myoid cells, and germ cells for intensity of labeling (0: absent; 1+: weak; 2+: moderate; or 3+: strong labeling). AR in Sertoli cells was readily detected at 1 week of age, was very faint in 2-month vehicle controls, and labeling appeared to increase in 3-month vehicle controls. AR in Sertoli cells, interstitial cells, and apparently germ cells was increased in treated animals at 2 months of age compared with the vehicle controls. This increase was confirmed in western blots. ESR1 and ESR 2 were clearly present in Sertoli cells from 1-week-old animals; ESR in Sertoli cells generally decreased with age with the decrease more apparent for ESR2. ESR1 in Sertoli cells and peritubular myoid cells exhibited some treatment-related effects but reduction of endogenous estrogen did not appear to affect ESR2 in the boar testis. The observed alterations in AR and ESR1 may mediate the increases in Sertoli cell proliferation following inhibition of endogenous estrogen production or may reflect the altered function of the Sertoli cells and peritubular myoid cells.