EFFECT OF VISFATIN ON TESTICULAR STEROIDOGENESIS IN PURIFIED LEYDIG CELLS

Waqas Hameed, Iftekhar Yousaf, Rabia Latif, Muhammad Aslam

Abstract


Background: Lower testosterone levels have been reported in men suffering from diabetes mellitus.
Men with insulin resistance states such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus have significantly lower
testosterone levels than age-matched normal weight and non-diabetic controls. Adipose tissue secretes
variety of adipokinesincluding adiponectin, resistin, visfatin, TNF-α. The study was designed to study
the effect of visfatin on testicular steroidogenesis in purified Leydig cell in vitro. Methods: Leydig
cells of Sprague Dawley rats were isolated and purified by Percoll. Cells were incubated for 3 hours
with/without visfatin in the presence/absence of LH and intracellular signalling blockers including PKC
blocker, PKA blocker and Raf1/Ras blocker. Cell culture extracts were stored at -80 ℃ before analysis
for levels of testosterone hormone by ELISA. Results: Visfatin increased testosterone production
(p<0.001) from cultured Leydig cells. Raf1/Ras blocker decreased visfatin induced steroidogenesis
(p<0.001). Conclusion: Visfatin increased testicular steroidogenesis from Leydig cells in vitro models
and operates through variety of enzymes, but especially through Ras/Raf1 kinase enzymes.
Keywords: Visfatin, adipocytokines, Leydig cells, testicular steroidogenesis

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