The Glucocorticoid Receptor NR3C1 in Testicular Peritubular Cells is Developmentally Regulated and Linked to the Smooth Muscle-Like Cellular Phenotype.
ABSTRACT: Whether glucocorticoids (GC) can directly affect human testicular functions is not well understood. A predominant site of GC receptor (GR; NR3C1) expression in the adult testis are peritubular smooth muscle-like cells, which express smooth muscle actin (ACTA2), contract and thereby are involved in sperm transport. In contrast to the adult, neither GR nor ACTA2, or elastin (ELN) were detected in the peritubular compartment before puberty in non-human primate testes. In isolated human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs), activation of GR by dexamethasone (Dex) caused the translocation of GR to the nucleus and stimulated expression of ACTA2 and ELN, without affecting the expression of collagens. Cytoskeletal ACTA2-rearrangements were observed and were associated with an increased ability to contract. Our results indicate post-pubertal testicular roles of GC in the maintenance of the contractile, smooth muscle-like phenotype of peritubular cells.
Project description:Male fertility depends on spermatogenesis, which takes place in the seminiferous tubules of the testis. This compartment is devoid of blood vessels, which are however found in the wall of the seminiferous tubules. Our proteomic study using cultured human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs) i.e. the cells, which form this wall, revealed that they constitutively secrete pigment epithelium-derived factor, PEDF, which is known to exert anti-angiogenic actions. Immunohistochemistry supports its presence in vivo, in the human tubular wall. Co-culture studies and analysis of cell migration patterns showed that human endothelial cells (HUVECs) are repulsed by HTPCs. The factor involved is likely PEDF, as a PEDF-antiserum blocked the repulsing action. Thus testicular peritubular cells, via PEDF, may prevent vascularization of human seminiferous tubules. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increased PEDF (qPCR) in HTPCs, however PEDF expression in the testis of a non-human primate occurs before puberty. Thus PEDF could be involved in the establishment of the avascular nature of seminiferous tubules and after puberty androgens may further reinforce this feature. Testicular microvessels and blood flow are known to contribute to the spermatogonial stem cell niche. Hence HTPCs via control of testicular microvessels may contribute to the regulation of spermatogonial stem cells, as well.
Project description:Smooth-muscle-like peritubular cells make up the wall of semniferous tubules of men. These human testicular peritubular cells (HTPC) have been shown to fulfill different roles. They transport sperm, secrete various factors like GDNF (glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor) and are immunologically active. They might contribute to spermatogonial stem cell niche altering and testicular ageing. Previous studies were limited regarding heterogeneity (due to lifestyle, age, medical history etc.) and accessibility of HTPCs. To circumvent this problem a cellular primate model should be established. The proteome of 6 MKTPCs of individual healthy and young (2 or 3 years) donors was assessed to investigate the suitability as a model.
Project description:Peritubular cells are part of the wall of seminiferous tubules in the human testis and their contractile abilities are important for sperm transport. In addition, they have immunological roles. A proteomic analysis of isolated human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs) revealed expression of the transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 2 (TRPV2). This cation channel is linked to mechano-sensation and to immunological processes and inflammation in other organs. We verified expression of TRPV2 in peritubular cells in human sections by immunohistochemistry. It was also found in other testicular cells, including Sertoli cells and interstitial cells. In cultured HTPCs, application of cannabidiol (CBD), a known TRPV2 agonist, acutely induced a transient increase in intracellular Ca2+ levels. These Ca2+ transients could be blocked both by ruthenium red, an unspecific Ca2+ channel blocker, and tranilast (TRA), an antagonist of TRPV2, and were also abolished when extracellular Ca2+ was removed. Taken together this indicates functional TRPV2 channels in peritubular cells. When applied for 24 to 48 h, CBD induced expression of proinflammatory factors. In particular, mRNA and secreted protein levels of the proinflammatory chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8/CXCL8) were elevated. Via its known roles as a major mediator of the inflammatory response and as an angiogenic factor, this chemokine may play a role in testicular physiology and pathology.
Project description:Changes in the wall of seminiferous tubules in men with impaired spermatogenesis imply sterile inflammation of the testis. We tested the hypothesis that the cells forming the wall of seminiferous tubules, human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs), orchestrate inflammatory events and that Toll like receptors (TLRs) and danger signals from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of this wall are involved. In cultured HTPCs we detected TLRs, including TLR2. A TLR-2 ligand (PAM) augmented interleukin 6 (IL-6), monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and pentraxin 3 (PTX3) in HTPCs. The ECM-derived proteoglycan biglycan (BGN) is secreted by HTPCs and may be a TLR2-ligand at HTPCs. In support, recombinant human BGN increased PTX3, MCP-1 and IL-6 in HTPCs. Variable endogenous BGN levels in HTPCs derived from different men and differences in BGN levels in the tubular wall in infertile men were observed. In testes of a systemic mouse model for male infertility, testicular sterile inflammation and elevated estradiol (E2) levels, BGN was also elevated. Hence we studied the role of E2 in HTPCs and observed that E2 elevated the levels of BGN. The anti-estrogen ICI 182,780 blocked this action. We conclude that TLR2 and BGN contribute to sterile inflammation and infertility in man.
Project description:In addition to germ cell population, testes contain several types of somatic cells, including Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, and peritubular myoid (PTM) cells. PTM cells are a type of smooth muscle-like cells and have contraction ability. To identify a marker of PTM cells, we isolated primary cells and subsequently performed RNA-Seq of testicular peritubular myoid cells (PTM_1, PTM_2, PTM_3), testicular Sertoli cells (Sertoli_1, Sertoli_2, Sertoli_3), testicular Leydig cells (Leydig_1, Leydig_2, Leydig_3), testicular germ cells (Germ_1, Germ_2, Germ_3), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC_1, VSMC_2, VSMC_3), intestinal smooth muscle cells (ISMC_1, ISMC_2, ISMC_3), and tracheal smooth muscle cells (TSMC_1, TSMC_2, TSMC_3) using BGISEQ-500 platform (BGI, China). Overall design: The mouse testicular cells were isolated as previously described (PMID: 23759306, 26995740, 30306767). Smooth muscle-like cells were obtaiend from Procell (Wuhan, China).
Project description:In addition to germ cell population, testes contain several types of somatic cells, including Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, and peritubular myoid (PTM) cells. PTM cells are a type of smooth muscle-like cells and have contraction ability. To identify a marker of PTM cells, we isolated primary cells and subsequently performed miRNA-Seq of testicular peritubular myoid cells (PTM_1, PTM_2, PTM_3), testicular Sertoli cells (Sertoli_1, Sertoli_2, Sertoli_3), testicular Leydig cells (Leydig_1, Leydig_2, Leydig_3), testicular germ cells (Germ_1, Germ_2, Germ_3), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC_1, VSMC_2, VSMC_3), intestinal smooth muscle cells (ISMC_1, ISMC_2, ISMC_3), and tracheal smooth muscle cells (TSMC_1, TSMC_2, TSMC_3) using BGISEQ-500 platform (BGI, China). Overall design: The mouse testicular cells were isolated as previously described (PMID: 23759306, 26995740, 30306767). Smooth muscle-like cells were obtaiend from Procell (Wuhan, China).
Project description:There is evidence for an age-related decline in male reproductive functions, yet how the human testis may age is not understood. Human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs) transport sperm, contribute to the spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) niche and immune surveillance, and can be isolated and studied in vitro. Consequences of replicative senescence of HTPCs were evaluated to gain partial insights into human testicular aging. To this end, early and advanced HTPC passages, in which replicative senescence was indicated by increased cell size, altered nuclear morphology, enhanced β-galactosidase activity, telomere attrition and reduced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), were compared. These alterations are typical for senescent cells, in general. To examine HTPC-specific changes, focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) tomography was employed, which revealed a reduced mitochondrial network and an increased lysosome population. The results coincide with the data of a parallel proteomic analysis and indicate deranged proteostasis. The mRNA levels of typical contractility markers and growth factors, important for the SSC niche, were not significantly altered. A secretome analysis identified, however, elevated levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), which may play a role in spermatogenesis. Testicular DPP4 may further represent a possible drug target.
Project description:Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) contract to perform many physiological functions, including regulation of blood flow and pressure in arteries, contraction of the pupils, peristalsis of the gut, and voiding of the bladder. SMC lineage in these organs is characterized by cellular expression of the SMC isoform of ?-actin, encoded by the ACTA2 gene. We report here on a unique and de novo mutation in ACTA2, R179H, that causes a syndrome characterized by dysfunction of SMCs throughout the body, leading to aortic and cerebrovascular disease, fixed dilated pupils, hypotonic bladder, malrotation, and hypoperistalsis of the gut and pulmonary hypertension.
Project description:Peritubular myoid cells, which form the walls of seminiferous tubules in the testis, are functionally unexplored. While they transport sperm and contribute to the spermatogonial stem cell niche, specifically their emerging role in the immune surveillance of the testis and in male infertility remains to be studied. Recently, cytokine production and activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) were uncovered in cultured peritubular cells. We now show that human peritubular cells express purinergic receptors P2RX4 and P2RX7, which are functionally linked to TLRs, with P2RX4 being the prevalent ATP-gated ion channel. Subsequent ATP treatment of cultured peritubular cells resulted in up-regulated (pro-)inflammatory cytokine expression and secretion, while characteristic peritubular proteins, that is smooth muscle cell markers and extracellular matrix molecules, decreased. These findings indicate that extracellular ATP may act as danger molecule on peritubular cells, able to promote inflammatory responses in the testicular environment.
Project description:Age-related changes in the human testis may include morphological alterations, disturbed steroidogenesis, and impaired spermatogenesis. However, the specific impact of cell age remains poorly understood and difficult to assess. Testicular peritubular cells fulfill essential functions, including sperm transport, contributions to the spermatogonial stem cell niche, and paracrine interactions within the testis. To study their role in age-associated decline of testicular functions, we performed comprehensive proteome and secretome analyses of repeatedly passaged peritubular cells from <i>Callithrix jacchus</i>. This nonhuman primate model better reflects the human testicular biology than rodents and further gives access to young donors unavailable from humans. Among 5095 identified proteins, 583 were differentially abundant between samples with low and high passage numbers. The alterations indicate a reduced ability of senescent peritubular cells to contract and secrete proteins, as well as disturbances in nuclear factor (NF)-?B signaling and a reduced capacity to handle reactive oxygen species. Since this in vitro model may not exactly mirror all molecular aspects of in vivo aging, we investigated the proteomes and secretomes of testicular peritubular cells from young and old donors. Even though the age-related alterations at the protein level were less pronounced, we found evidence for impaired protein secretion, altered NF-?B signaling, and reduced contractility of these in vivo aged peritubular cells.