Human adipose-derived pericytes display steroidogenic lineage potential 2 in vitro and influence leydig cell regeneration in vivo in rats

Michael Curley, Zaniah N Gonzalez, Laura Milne, Patrick Hadoke, Ian Handel, Bruno Peault, Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Exogenous androgen replacement is used to treat symptoms associated with low testosterone in males. However, adverse cardiovascular risk and negative fertility impacts impel development of alternative approaches to restore/maintain Leydig cell (LC) androgen production. Stem Leydig cell (SLC) transplantation shows promise in this regard however, practicality of SLC isolation/transplantation impede clinical translation. Multipotent human adipose-derived perivascular stem cells (hAd-PSCs) represent an attractive extragonadal stem cell source for regenerative therapies in the testis but their therapeutic potential in this context is unexplored. We asked whether hAd-PSCs could be converted into Leydig-like cells and determined their capacity to promote regeneration in LC-ablated rat testes. Exposure of hAd-PSCs to differentiation-inducing factors in vitro upregulated steroidogenic genes but did not fully induce LC differentiation. In vivo, no difference in LC-regeneration was noted between Sham and hAd-PSC-transplanted rats. Interestingly, Cyp17a1 expression increased in hAd-PSC-transplanted testes compared to intact vehicle controls and the luteinising hormone/testosterone ratio returned to Vehicle control levels which was not the case in EDS + Sham animals. Notably, hAd-PSCs were undetectable one-month after transplantation suggesting this effect is likely mediated via paracrine mechanisms during the initial stages of regeneration; either directly by interacting with regenerating LCs, or through indirect interactions with trophic macrophages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2019

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