EFFECTS OF ANTISERUM TO LUTEINIZING HORMONE ON THE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF RAT LEYDIG CELLS

in Journal of Endocrinology
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The influence of LH on morphology and function of Leydig cells was investigated in adult rats by selective neutralization of endogenous hormone with specific antibodies. Administration of antiserum to LH to mature male Sprague–Dawley rats for 8 days caused a significant decrease in testis weight and levels of testosterone in serum but had no effect on the overall number of interstitial cells per testis. The ability of interstitial cells isolated from antiserum-treated animals to produce testosterone in response to exogenous LH was also significantly lower than that of cells derived from animals treated with normal rabbit serum. Although the number of interstitial cells was similar in the treated and control groups, morphological studies indicated a major decrease in the number of fully differentiated Leydig cells in the antiserum-treated animals. Furthermore, neutralization of LH with antiserum resulted in disruption of the endoplasmic reticulum and accumulation of dense bodies resembling lysosomes in the Leydig cells. These results suggested that the primary trophic action of LH is to induce and maintain the steroidogenic capacity of the Leydig cells.

 

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