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Germ-line activation of the luteinizing hormone receptor directly drives spermiogenesis in a nonmammalian vertebrate

AuthorsChauvigné, François ; Zapater, Cinta ; Gasol, Josep M. ; Cerdà, Joan
Issue Date28-Jan-2014
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
CitationProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(4): 1427-1432 (2014)
AbstractIn both mammals and teleosts, the differentiation of postmeiotic spermatids to spermatozoa (spermiogenesis) is thought to be indirectly controlled by the luteinizing hormone (LH) acting through the LH/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) to stimulate androgen secretion in the interstitial Leydig cells. However, a more direct, nonsteroidal role of LH mediating the spermiogenic pathway remains unclear. Using a flatfish with semicystic spermatogenesis, in which spermatids are released into the seminiferous lobule lumen (SLL), where they develop into spermatozoa without direct contact with the supporting Sertoli cells, we show that haploid spermatids express the homolog of the tetrapod LHCGR (Lhcgrba). Both native Lh and intramuscularly injected His-tagged recombinant Lh (rLh) are immunodetected bound to the Lhcgrba of free spermatids in the SLL, showing that circulating gonadotropin can reach the intratubular compartment. In vitro incubation of flatfish spermatids isolated from the SLL with rLh specifically promotes their differentiation into spermatozoa, whereas recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone and steroid hormones are ineffective. Using a repertoire of molecular markers and inhibitors, we find that the Lh-Lhcgrba induction of spermiogenesis is mediated through a cAMP/PKA signaling pathway that initiates the transcription of genes potentially involved in the function of spermatozoa. We further show that Lhcgrba expression in germ cells also occurs in distantly related fishes, suggesting this feature is likely conserved in teleosts regardless of the type of germ cell development. These data reveal a role of LH in vertebrate germ cells, whereby a Lhcgrbaactivated signaling cascade in haploid spermatids directs gene expression and the progression of spermiogenesis
Description6 pages, 5 figures, supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1317838111/-/DCSupplemental
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1317838111
Identifiersdoi: 10.1073/pnas.1317838111
e-issn: 1091-6490
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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