Hormonal regulation of gonadotropin receptors and steroidogenesis in cultured fetal rat tests

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Science  22 Oct 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4570, pp. 375-377
DOI: 10.1126/science.6289438


Gonadotropic activation of the adult rat testis in vitro and in vivo is followed by down-regulation of luteinizing hormone receptors and decreased androgen responses to subsequent hormonal stimulation. In contrast, treatment of cultured fetal testes with gonadotropins and dibutyryl adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate enhanced steroidogenic responsiveness and did not cause the luteinizing hormone-receptor loss and desensitization that is characteristic of the adult gonad. The analysis of gonadotropin receptors and action in cultured fetal testis cells facilitates developmental studies of gonadal function, and has revealed significant differences in the responses of fetal and adult Leydig cells to gonadotropic regulation.