Molecular profiling of the human testis reveals stringent pathway-specific regulation of RNA expression following gonadotropin suppression and progestogen treatment

Rosemary A L Bayne, Thorsten Forster, Stewart T G Burgess, Marie Craigon, Melanie J Walton, David T Baird, Peter Ghazal, Richard A Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gonadotropin withdrawal induces changes in gene expression in all 3 major cell types of the testis. Knowledge of the genes affected, in both the presence and absence of additional progestogen, will give insight into the regulation of human testicular function and aid development of novel contraceptive methods. We have undertaken a whole-genome analysis of RNA expression in testicular biopsies from normal men and after 4 weeks of gonadotropin suppression induced by gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist plus testosterone administration sufficient to cause marked suppression of spermatogenesis. Microarray analysis shows that interindividual variability is markedly low, and the response to treatment is focused on a small subset of genes particularly related to pathways in steroidogenesis and cholesterol biosynthesis or metabolism, the Leydig cell gene INSL3, and genes involved in early meiosis or Sertoli-germ cell junctions. These changes in expression were confirmed by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. No major changes in gene expression were identified in men additionally treated with a progestogen, although FLJ35767, an expressed sequence tag that is expressed in the germ cell compartment, did show a small but significant additional effect of progestogen. Overall, the results of this investigation disclose a remarkably stringent regulation of testicular gene expression, revealing the genes most sensitive to gonadotropin withdrawal, and might reflect the most labile pathways in the regulation of testicular function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-403
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Andrology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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