Author(s): Coln E, Strand ML, CarlssonSkwirut C, Wahlgren A, Svechnikov KV,
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Abstract Humanin (HN) is a 24 amino acids peptide with potent neuro-survival properties that protects against damage associated with Alzheimer's disease. In the present report, we have demonstrated by immunohistochemical analysis and Western blotting the pattern of expression of rat humanin (HNr) in the testis of 10- to 60-day-old rats. The Leydig cells of 10- and 40- day-old rats expressed this peptide at high levels; and in the testis of 60-day-old rats the expression of HNr expanded to include Leydig, endothelial, peritubular and germ cells. As monitored by Western blotting, HNr was released into the medium of cultures of Leydig cells isolated from 10-, 40-, and 60-days-old rats. HNr stimulated the incorporation of [(3)H]TdR into DNA of Leydig cells from 10-days-old rats, in a manner that indicated promotion of cell survival rather than an increase in the rate of cell multiplication. This peptide also enhanced steroidogenesis by cultured Leydig cells from 10- to 40-day-old rats both alone and synergistically with IGF-I. The expression of HNr in cultured Leydig cells increased in response to GH and IGF-I. In summary, we demonstrated here that HNr was expressed at all stages of maturation in the rat testis. This peptide promoted the survival of Leydig cells in culture and interacted with IGF-I to stimulate DNA synthesis and steroidogenesis. We propose that HNr is a novel testicular anti-apoptotic factor.
This article was published in J Cell Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science