Drug ligand-induced activation of translocator protein (TSPO) stimulates steroid production by aged Brown Norway rat leydig cells

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Abstract

Translocator protein (TSPO; 18 kDA) is a high-affinity cholesterol-binding protein that is integrally involved in cholesterol transfer from intracellular stores into mitochondria, the rate-determining step in steroid formation. Previous studies have shown that TSPO drug ligands are able to activate steroid production by MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells and by mitochondria isolated from steroidogenic cells. We hypothesized herein that the direct, pharmacological activation of TSPO might induce aged Leydig cells, which are characterized by reduced T production, to produce significantly higher levels of T both in vitro and in vivo. To test this, we first examined the in vitro effects of the TSPO selective and structurally distinct drug ligands N,N-dihexyl-2-(4-fluorophenyl) indole-3-acetamide (FGIN-1-27) and benzodiazepine 4′-chlorodiazepam (Ro5-4864) on steroidogenesis by Leydig cells isolated from aged (21-24 months old) and young adult (3-6 months old) Brown Norway rats. The ligands stimulated Leydig cell T production significantly, and equivalently, in cells of both ages, an effect that was significantly inhibited by the specific TSPO inhibitor 5-androsten-3,17,19-triol (19-Atriol). Additionally, we examined the in vivo effects of administering FGIN-1-27 to young and aged rats. In both cases, serum T levels increased significantly, consistent with the in vitro results. Indeed, serum T levels in aged rats administered FGIN-1-27 were equivalent to T levels in the serum of control young rats. Taken together, these results indicate that although there are reduced amounts of TSPO in aged Leydig cells, its direct activation is able to increase T production. We suggest that this approach might serve as a therapeutic means to increase steroid levels in vivo in cases of primary hypogonadism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2156-2165
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrinology
Volume154
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

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Leydig Cells
Steroids
Ligands
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Proteins
Mitochondria
Serum
Leydig Cell Tumor
Hypogonadism
Benzodiazepines
Young Adult
Cholesterol
Pharmacology
N,N-di-n-hexyl-2-(4-fluorophenyl)indole-3-acetamide
In Vitro Techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

@article{a516435cdffb4a8ab82d1567d2dc9abb,
title = "Drug ligand-induced activation of translocator protein (TSPO) stimulates steroid production by aged Brown Norway rat leydig cells",
abstract = "Translocator protein (TSPO; 18 kDA) is a high-affinity cholesterol-binding protein that is integrally involved in cholesterol transfer from intracellular stores into mitochondria, the rate-determining step in steroid formation. Previous studies have shown that TSPO drug ligands are able to activate steroid production by MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells and by mitochondria isolated from steroidogenic cells. We hypothesized herein that the direct, pharmacological activation of TSPO might induce aged Leydig cells, which are characterized by reduced T production, to produce significantly higher levels of T both in vitro and in vivo. To test this, we first examined the in vitro effects of the TSPO selective and structurally distinct drug ligands N,N-dihexyl-2-(4-fluorophenyl) indole-3-acetamide (FGIN-1-27) and benzodiazepine 4′-chlorodiazepam (Ro5-4864) on steroidogenesis by Leydig cells isolated from aged (21-24 months old) and young adult (3-6 months old) Brown Norway rats. The ligands stimulated Leydig cell T production significantly, and equivalently, in cells of both ages, an effect that was significantly inhibited by the specific TSPO inhibitor 5-androsten-3,17,19-triol (19-Atriol). Additionally, we examined the in vivo effects of administering FGIN-1-27 to young and aged rats. In both cases, serum T levels increased significantly, consistent with the in vitro results. Indeed, serum T levels in aged rats administered FGIN-1-27 were equivalent to T levels in the serum of control young rats. Taken together, these results indicate that although there are reduced amounts of TSPO in aged Leydig cells, its direct activation is able to increase T production. We suggest that this approach might serve as a therapeutic means to increase steroid levels in vivo in cases of primary hypogonadism.",
author = "Chung, {Jin Yong} and Haolin Chen and A. Midzak and Arthur Burnett and V. Papadopoulos and Zirkin, {Barry R}",
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T1 - Drug ligand-induced activation of translocator protein (TSPO) stimulates steroid production by aged Brown Norway rat leydig cells

AU - Chung, Jin Yong

AU - Chen, Haolin

AU - Midzak, A.

AU - Burnett, Arthur

AU - Papadopoulos, V.

AU - Zirkin, Barry R

PY - 2013/6/1

Y1 - 2013/6/1

N2 - Translocator protein (TSPO; 18 kDA) is a high-affinity cholesterol-binding protein that is integrally involved in cholesterol transfer from intracellular stores into mitochondria, the rate-determining step in steroid formation. Previous studies have shown that TSPO drug ligands are able to activate steroid production by MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells and by mitochondria isolated from steroidogenic cells. We hypothesized herein that the direct, pharmacological activation of TSPO might induce aged Leydig cells, which are characterized by reduced T production, to produce significantly higher levels of T both in vitro and in vivo. To test this, we first examined the in vitro effects of the TSPO selective and structurally distinct drug ligands N,N-dihexyl-2-(4-fluorophenyl) indole-3-acetamide (FGIN-1-27) and benzodiazepine 4′-chlorodiazepam (Ro5-4864) on steroidogenesis by Leydig cells isolated from aged (21-24 months old) and young adult (3-6 months old) Brown Norway rats. The ligands stimulated Leydig cell T production significantly, and equivalently, in cells of both ages, an effect that was significantly inhibited by the specific TSPO inhibitor 5-androsten-3,17,19-triol (19-Atriol). Additionally, we examined the in vivo effects of administering FGIN-1-27 to young and aged rats. In both cases, serum T levels increased significantly, consistent with the in vitro results. Indeed, serum T levels in aged rats administered FGIN-1-27 were equivalent to T levels in the serum of control young rats. Taken together, these results indicate that although there are reduced amounts of TSPO in aged Leydig cells, its direct activation is able to increase T production. We suggest that this approach might serve as a therapeutic means to increase steroid levels in vivo in cases of primary hypogonadism.

AB - Translocator protein (TSPO; 18 kDA) is a high-affinity cholesterol-binding protein that is integrally involved in cholesterol transfer from intracellular stores into mitochondria, the rate-determining step in steroid formation. Previous studies have shown that TSPO drug ligands are able to activate steroid production by MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells and by mitochondria isolated from steroidogenic cells. We hypothesized herein that the direct, pharmacological activation of TSPO might induce aged Leydig cells, which are characterized by reduced T production, to produce significantly higher levels of T both in vitro and in vivo. To test this, we first examined the in vitro effects of the TSPO selective and structurally distinct drug ligands N,N-dihexyl-2-(4-fluorophenyl) indole-3-acetamide (FGIN-1-27) and benzodiazepine 4′-chlorodiazepam (Ro5-4864) on steroidogenesis by Leydig cells isolated from aged (21-24 months old) and young adult (3-6 months old) Brown Norway rats. The ligands stimulated Leydig cell T production significantly, and equivalently, in cells of both ages, an effect that was significantly inhibited by the specific TSPO inhibitor 5-androsten-3,17,19-triol (19-Atriol). Additionally, we examined the in vivo effects of administering FGIN-1-27 to young and aged rats. In both cases, serum T levels increased significantly, consistent with the in vitro results. Indeed, serum T levels in aged rats administered FGIN-1-27 were equivalent to T levels in the serum of control young rats. Taken together, these results indicate that although there are reduced amounts of TSPO in aged Leydig cells, its direct activation is able to increase T production. We suggest that this approach might serve as a therapeutic means to increase steroid levels in vivo in cases of primary hypogonadism.

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