Requirement for heparan sulphate proteoglycans to mediate basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2)-induced stimulation of Leydig cell steroidogenesis

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This study reports that, in contrast to previous findings, basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) stimulates immature Leydig cell steroidogenesis in the absence of luteinizing hormone (LH). Heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are essential for this action of FGF-2 and the data suggest that HSPG/FGF-2 interactions have a significant role in the maintenance of immature Leydig cell steroidogenesis. Culture conditions were established for the maintenance of immature rat Leydig cells steroidogenesis in vitro for at least 2 days. Under these conditions the effect of exposure to FGF-2 at doses ranging from 0.1-10 ng/ml was shown to cause a significant stimulation of basal, but not LH-stimulated, 5α-androstane 3α,17β-diol production over 24h in culture. This stimulatory action on basal steroidogenesis is mediated through HSPG, as it was blocked by the addition of heparin (100 μg/ml), sodium chlorate (25mM) and protamine sulphate (5 μg/ml). These data demonstrate the involvement of HSPG in regulating FGF-2 action on Leydig cells and a potential role for Leydig cell HSPG in mediating paracrine regulatory actions of other heparin binding growth factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-250
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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