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Comparison of global gene expression profiles of microdissected human foetal Leydig cells with their normal and hyperplastic adult equivalents

ABSTRACT: Leydig cells (LCs) are the primary androgen producing cells in males throughout development and appear in chronologically distinct populations; fetal Leydig cells (FLCs), neonatal LCs and adult Leydig cells (ALCs). ALCs are responsible for progression through puberty and for maintenance of reproductive functions in adulthood. In patients with reproductive problems, such as infertility or testicular cancer, and especially in men with high gonadotrophin levels, LC function is often impaired, and LCs may cluster abnormally into hyperplastic micronodules. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether ALCs within hyperplastic micronodules display characteristics of FLCs. Transcriptome profiling was performed on LCs microdissected from 12 frozen human tissue samples, including morphologically normal foetal (gestational week 10-11) and adult testis samples, and adult specimens with LC micronodules or LC micronodules adjacent to chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)-producing testicular germ cell tumours. Fifteen additional foetal and adult testis tissue specimens were used for validation of the expression data at the protein level. The study revealed the the gene expression profiles of FLCs and all ALC subgroups were clearly different, but there were no significant differences in expressed genes between the normally clustered and hyperplastic ALCs. Close similarity between transcriptome profiles of the normally clustered and hyperplastic ALCs suggest that the changes in LC function and morphology observed in patients with reproductive disorders possibly reflect subtle changes in the expression of many genes rather than regulatory changes of single genes or pathways. The transcriptome of FLCs revealed several genes not known previously to be expressed in this cell type during early development, including SULT2A1, WISP2, HPGD, and IGF2BP1, and their expression changes were validated at the protein level.

ORGANISM(S): Homo sapiens

SUBMITTER: Kirstine Belling 

PROVIDER: E-MTAB-5453 | biostudies-arrayexpress |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies-arrayexpress

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