By using cultured rat Sertoli cells as a model, both the action of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on lactate production and the site of this action were studied. bFGF stimulated Sertoli cell lactate production in a dose-dependent manner (basal: 7.3+/-0.5; 0.1 ng/ml bFGF: 7.5+/-0.5; 1 ng/ml bFGF: 7.5+/-0.6; 10 ng/ml bFGF: 10.3+/-1.0; 30 ng/ml bFGF: 15.2+/-1.5; 50 ng/ml bFGF: 15.4+/-1.6 microg/microg DNA). Two major sites for the action of this growth factor were identified. First, bFGF was shown to exert short- and long-term stimulatory effects on glucose transport (basal: 1170+/-102; 30 ng/ml bFGF for 120 min: 1718+/-152 and basal: 718+/-64; 30 ng/ml bFGF for 48 h: 1069+/-69 d.p.m./microg DNA respectively). Short-term bFGF stimulation of glucose transport was not inhibited by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. These results indicate that short-term bFGF stimulation of glucose uptake does not involve an increase in the number of glucose transporters. On the other hand, stimulation with bFGF for periods of time longer than 12 h increased glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) mRNA levels. These increased mRNA levels were probably ultimately responsible for the increments in glucose uptake that are observed in long-term treated cultures. Secondly, bFGF increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity (basal: 31.0+/-1.4; 30 ng/ml bFGF: 45.7+/- 2.4 mIU/microg DNA). The principal subunit component of those LDH isozymes that favors the transformation of pyruvate to lactate is subunit A. bFGF increased LDH A mRNA levels in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In summary, the results presented herein show that glucose transport, LDH activity and GLUT1 and LDH A mRNA levels are regulated by bFGF to achieve an increase in lactate production. These observed regulatory actions provide unequivocal evidence of the participation of bFGF in Sertoli cell lactate production which may be related to normal germ cell development.
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