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1 May 2003 Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Production by Leydig Cells In Vitro: The Role of Protein Kinase A and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Cascade
Ravinder Jit Kaur Anand, Hans-Joachim Paust, Klaus Altenpohl, Amal K. Mukhopadhyay
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Abstract

We previously reported the presence of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in testicular cells, and high concentrations of VEGF have been measured in semen, although its role in male reproduction remains obscure. In the present study we focus on understanding the mechanism of VEGF production by mouse Leydig cells cultured in vitro. Production of VEGF protein in medium by testicular cells was markedly increased by the addition of hCG in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Gonadotropin-stimulated VEGF production was mediated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA), as evidenced by the effect of hCG being mimicked by 8Br-cAMP and being abolished in the presence of a PKA-specific inhibitor, H-89. Protein kinase C was not involved, as evidenced by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate having no influence on VEGF production by Leydig cells. In addition to hCG, atrial natriuretic peptide was also able to stimulate VEGF production, suggesting that cGMP is able to cross-activate PKA. A specific Src kinase inhibitor, PP2, could completely block the stimulatory effects of both gonadotropin and 8Br-cAMP on VEGF production by Leydig cells, implying an involvement of the Src kinase pathway. Furthermore, addition of U0126, an inhibitor of MEK 1/2, abolished the increase in VEGF production stimulated by both hCG and 8Br-cAMP. A similar inhibitory effect was observed by the addition of SB203580, a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor. Thus, in conclusion, Leydig cells are able to produce VEGF by a process under gonadotropic control, and PKA plays a key role in this process. Downstream of PKA, it appears that both MEK 1/2 and Src kinase-dependent pathways are involved, although further research will be necessary to determine the precise link between PKA and other kinases involved.

Ravinder Jit Kaur Anand, Hans-Joachim Paust, Klaus Altenpohl, and Amal K. Mukhopadhyay "Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Production by Leydig Cells In Vitro: The Role of Protein Kinase A and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Cascade," Biology of Reproduction 68(5), 1663-1673, (1 May 2003). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.102.009795
Received: 26 July 2002; Accepted: 1 November 2002; Published: 1 May 2003
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