Pituitary and gonadal hormone-dependent and - independent induction of follicle-stimulating hormone receptors in the developing testis

Kazuyoshi Tsutsui*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The number of FSH receptors increases during testicular development in several species of mammals. Hypophysectomy and hormonal replacement were performed to identify the factors that induce developmental changes in testicular FSH receptors. Male rats of the Wistar/Tw strain were hypophysectomized at 9, 16, 23, or 30 days or 3 months of age. These rats were killed 10 days after surgery along with intact control rats, and the testes were removed for receptor assay. A group of intact rats was killed on the day of surgery as initial controls. All of the hypophysectomized immature rats showed a higher density of FSH binding (FSH binding per unit weight) and a lower total FSH binding (FSH binding per two testes) compared with each of the matched intact control rats. In contrast to FSH binding, not only the total LH binding but also the density of LH binding were invariably lower in the hypophysectomized rats than in the intact control rats. Unlike hypophysectomy at other immature ages, surgery at 9 days of age was followed by significant increases in testicular weight, density of FSH binding, and total FSH binding compared with those values in the initial control rats. There was no significant effect of hypophysectomy on total FSH binding in adult animals, in contrast to the marked decrease in total LH binding. When male rats hypophysectomized at 25 days of age were injected with FSH for 5 days beginning on the 11th day after surgery, dose-dependent increases in total FSH binding and testicular weight were observed. Testosterone treatment induced an increase only in the total FSH binding, but its effect was less potent. Scatchard plot analyses of the binding suggested that changes in FSH binding with age, after hypophysectomy, and after hormonal administration were due to changes in the number of binding sites. Plasma FSH concentrations in all postoperative rats were below or at the level of detectability, indicating that hypophysectomy was successful. In normal immature rats, a significant increase in the plasma FSH level was detected only from 9-19 days of age, in contrast to the continuous increase in total FSH binding during testicular development. These results suggest that FSH and testosterone act as hormonal factors to induce an increase in the number of FSH receptors in the developing testis. Other factors that are independent of pituitary and sex hormones may also contribute to FSH receptor induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-487
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Jan
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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