Cooperative actions of FSH and androgens on initiation, maintenance, and restoration of spermatogenesis have been described. In the present experiments the regulatory effects of FSH on androgen receptor (AR) gene expression in Sertoli cells were studied. In immature rats injection of FSH (1 μg/g BW, ip) resulted in a rapid down-regulation of testicular AR mRNA expression (4 h), followed by recovery to the control level (10 h). Using cultured immature Sertoli cells, a similar transient effect on AR mRNA expression was observed after the addition of FSH (500 ng/ml) or (Bu)2cAMP (0.5 mM). Cycloheximide treatment of the cells did not prevent the rapid FSH-induced down-regulation of AR mRNA expression, indicating that de novo protein synthesis is not required for this effect. Furthermore, using a transcriptional run-on assay, no marked decrease in the rate of AR gene transcription was found upon treatment of the cultured Sertoli cells with FSH for 2 or 4 h. This demonstrates that the short term effect of FSH on AR mRNA expression reflects a change in mRNA stability. The AR protein level was not markedly affected by the transient decrease in AR mRNA expression. When immature Sertoli cells were incubated with FSH for longer time periods (24-72 h), both AR mRNA and protein expression were increased. In Sertoli cells isolated from 15-day-old rats, this increase was higher (mRNA, 2- to 3-fold; protein, 2-fold) than in Sertoli cells isolated from 25-day-old animals. The results indicate that FSH plays a complex role in the regulation of AR expression in immature rat Sertoli cells.

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Journal Endocrinology
Blok, L.J, Hoogerbrugge, J.W, Themmen, A.P.N, Baarends, W.M, Post, M, & Grootegoed, J.A. (1992). Transient down-regulation of androgen receptor messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression in Sertoli cells by follicle-stimulating hormone is followed by up-regulation of androgen receptor mRNA and protein. Endocrinology, 131(3), 1343–1349. doi:10.1210/en.131.3.1343