The expression of mRNAs encoding the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) subunits (PDGF A and PDGF B) and the PDGF receptor subunits (PDGF-Rα and PDGF-Rβ) was studied in cells of the rat testis. Leydig cells, primary spermatocytes, round spermatids, and cytoplasts were isolated from adult animals, and enriched preparations of Sertoli cells were obtained from 20-day-old animals. RNA from these cells was examined using Northern blots. Messenger RNA encoding both the PDGF-Rα and PDGF-Rβ subunits was observed in Leydig and Sertoli cell preparations but not in any of the germ cell samples. The Leydig cells contained predominantly mRNA encoding PDGF B subunits, while the Sertoli cells contained abundant mRNAs encoding both ligand subunits. Neither PDGF subunit mRNA was detected in the germ cells. This paper has not examined the expression of protein corresponding to the mRNAs detected but the data suggest that both paracrine and autocrine roles for PDGF are likely in the testis, and that PDGF may mediate communication between the interstitial compartment and the seminiferous epithelium.
- Leydig cell
- Platelet-derived growth factor
- Platelet-derived growth factor receptor
- Sertoli cell