Effects of Osteocalcin on Synthesis of Testosterone and INSL3 during Adult Leydig Cell Differentiation


INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGY, vol.2019, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Proliferation and differentiation of adult Leydig cells are mainly completed in puberty. In many studies, apart from normal postnatal development process, it is widely indicated that, through administrating EDS, Leydig cell population is eliminated and regenerated. It is believed that osteocalcin released from osteoblasts, which is responsible for modulating bone metabolism, induces testosterone production in Leydig cells, independent of the HPG axis. In addition, INSL3 produced by Leydig cells, such as testosterone, plays a critical role in bone metabolism and is known to reflect the development process and functional capacities of Leydig cells. This study is aimed at investigating OC-mediated testosterone regulation and INSL3 synthesis during differentiation of adult Leydig cells that are independent of LH. For this purpose, male rats were divided into 2 groups: prepubertal normal rats and adult EDS-injected rats. Each group was divided into 4 subgroups in which GnRH antagonist or OC was applied. After adult Leydig cells completed their development, testicular tissue samples obtained from the sacrificed rats were examined by light-electron microscopic, immunohistochemical, and biochemical methods. Slight upregulation in 3 beta HSD, INSL3, and GPRC6A expressions along with the increase in serum testosterone levels was observed in groups treated with osteocalcin against GnRH antagonist. In addition, biochemical and microscopic findings in osteocalcin treated groups were similar to those in control groups. While there was no significant difference in the number of Leydig cells reported, the presence of a significant upregulation in INSL3 and GPRC6A expressions and the increase in serum testosterone and ucOC levels were observed. After evaluation of findings altogether, it is put forward that, for the first time in this study, although osteocalcin treatment made no significant difference in the number of Leydig cells, it increased the level of testosterone through improving the function of existing adult Leydig cells during normal postnatal development process and post-EDS regeneration. This positive correlation between osteocalcin-testosterone and osteocalcin-INSL3 is concluded to be independent of LH at in vivo conditions.