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Y. P. Tang and C. L. Sisk


The biological activity of testosterone often depends on the conversion of testosterone within the target cell to an androgenic or oestrogenic metabolite. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative ability of testosterone and two of its metabolites, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and oestradiol, to suppress LH secretion in castrated male ferrets. Castrated ferrets were treated with five different doses of steroid by implanting various numbers of s.c. silicone elastomer capsules packed with either testosterone, DHT or oestradiol. The lowest dose of oestradiol (0·1 mm capsule length/100 g body weight, mean estimated total release rate of 25 ng/day) significantly suppressed plasma concentrations of LH in castrated ferrets. Higher amounts of DHT (2·5 mm capsule length/100 g body weight, mean estimated total release rate of 88 ng/day) were required for a significant reduction in plasma concentrations of LH. Concentrations of LH were also significantly lowered by testosterone when administered at a 2·5 mm capsule length/100 g body weight; however, estimated total release rate was 312 ng/day from these capsules. The fact that oestradiol was more effective than DHT, and that DHT was more effective than testosterone in inhibiting LH secretion in castrated ferrets, suggests that in gonadally intact ferrets, testosterone may be converted to DHT or oestradiol within target cells that mediate steroid negative feedback on LH secretion.

J. Endocr. (1988) 117, 461–466

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Elizabeth I Tang, Dolores D Mruk and C Yan Cheng

During spermatogenesis, spermatids derived from meiosis simultaneously undergo extensive morphological transformation, to become highly specialized and metabolically quiescent cells, and transport across the seminiferous epithelium. Spermatids are also transported back-and-forth across the seminiferous epithelium during the epithelial cycle until they line up at the luminal edge of the tubule to prepare for spermiation at stage VIII of the cycle. Spermatid transport thus requires the intricate coordination of the cytoskeletons in Sertoli cells (SCs) as spermatids are nonmotile cells lacking the ultrastructures of lamellipodia and filopodia, as well as the organized components of the cytoskeletons. In the course of preparing this brief review, we were surprised to see that, except for some earlier eminent morphological studies, little is known about the regulation of the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton and the coordination of MT with the actin-based cytoskeleton to regulate spermatid transport during the epithelia cycle, illustrating that this is a largely neglected area of research in the field. Herein, we summarize recent findings in the field regarding the significance of actin- and tubulin-based cytoskeletons in SCs that support spermatid transport; we also highlight specific areas of research that deserve attention in future studies.

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W Yin, D Liao, M Kusunoki, S Xi, K Tsutsumi, Z Wang, X Lian, T Koike, J Fan, Y Yang and C Tang

The synthetic compound NO-1886 (ibrolipim) is a lipoprotein lipase activator that has been proven to be highly effective in lowering plasma triglycerides. Recently, we found that NO-1886 also reduced plasma free fatty acids and glucose in high-fat/high-sucrose diet-induced diabetic rabbits. In the current study, we investigated the effects of NO-1886 treatment on ectopic lipid deposition and the islet pathology in miniature swine fed a high-fat/high-sucrose diet. Our results showed that feeding this diet to miniature swine caused insulin resistance, increased lipid deposition in non-adipose tissue, such as in the heart, skeletal muscle, liver and pancreas, and also caused pancreatic beta cell damage. However, supplementing 1% NO-1886 (200 mg/kg per day) into the high-fat/high-sucrose diet decreased ectopic lipid deposition, improved insulin resistance, and alleviated the beta cell damage. These results suggest that improvement of lipid disorder, non-adipose tissue steatosis and insulin resistance may be very important for the protection of beta cell damage. Therefore, NO-1886 is potentially beneficial for the treatment of insulin-resistance syndrome.

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Junlan Zhou, Min Cheng, Chan Boriboun, Mariam M Ardehali, Changfei Jiang, Qinghua Liu, Shuling Han, David A Goukassian, Yao-Liang Tang, Ting C Zhao, Ming Zhao, Lu Cai, Stéphane Richard, Raj Kishore and Gangjian Qin

Obesity is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; molecular mechanisms that promote energy expenditure can be utilized for effective therapy. Src-associated in mitosis of 68 kDa (Sam68) is potentially significant, because knockout (KO) of Sam68 leads to markedly reduced adiposity. In the present study, we sought to determine the mechanism by which Sam68 regulates adiposity and energy homeostasis. We first found that Sam68 KO mice have a significantly reduced body weight as compared to controls, and the difference is explained entirely by decreased adiposity. Interestingly, these effects were not mediated by a difference in food intake; rather, they were associated with enhanced physical activity. When they were fed a high-fat diet, Sam68 KO mice gained much less body weight and fat mass than their WT littermates did, and they displayed an improved glucose and insulin tolerance. In Sam68 KO mice, the brown adipose tissue (BAT), inguinal, and epididymal depots were smaller, and their adipocytes were less hypertrophied as compared to their WT littermates. The BAT of Sam68 KO mice exhibited reduced lipid stores and expressed higher levels of Ucp1 and key thermogenic and fatty acid oxidation genes. Similarly, depots of inguinal and epididymal white adipose tissue (WAT) in Sam68 KO mice appeared browner, their multilocular Ucp1-positive cells were much more abundant, and the expression of Ucp1, Cidea, Prdm16, and Ppargc1a genes was greater as compared to WT controls, which suggests that the loss of Sam68 also promotes WAT browning. Furthermore, in all of the fat depots of the Sam68 KO mice, the expression of M2 macrophage markers was up-regulated, and that of M1 markers was down-regulated. Thus, Sam68 plays a crucial role in controlling thermogenesis and may be targeted to combat obesity and associated disorders.