Kelli Boyd
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/20/2014

Deregulated hepatic metabolism exacerbates impaired testosterone production in Mrp4-deficient mice.

Morgan JA, Cheepala SB, Wang Y, Neale G, Adachi M, Nachagari D, Leggas M, Zhao W, Boyd K, Venkataramanan R, Schuetz JD
J Biol Chem. 2012 287 (18): 14456-66

PMID: 22375007 · PMCID: PMC3340271 · DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.319681

The physiological role of multidrug resistance protein 4 (Mrp4, Abcc4) in the testes is unknown. We found that Mrp4 is expressed primarily in mouse and human Leydig cells; however, there is no current evidence that Mrp4 regulates testosterone production. We investigated its role in Leydig cells, where testosterone production is regulated by cAMP, an intracellular messenger formed when the luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor is activated. Because Mrp4 regulates cAMP, we compared testosterone levels in Mrp4(-/-) and Mrp4(+/+) mice. Young Mrp4(-/-) mice had significantly impaired gametogenesis, reduced testicular testosterone, and disruption of Leydig cell cAMP homeostasis. Both young and adult mice had impaired testosterone production. In Mrp4(-/-) primary Leydig cells treated with LH, intracellular cAMP production was impaired and cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation was strongly attenuated. Notably, expression of CREB target genes that regulate testosterone biosynthesis was reduced in Mrp4(-/-) Leydig cells in vivo. Therefore, Mrp4 is required for normal Leydig cell testosterone production. However, adult Mrp4(-/-) mice are fertile, with a normal circulating testosterone concentration. The difference is that in 3-week-old Mrp4(-/-) mice, disruption of gonadal testosterone production up-regulates hepatic Cyp2b10, a known testosterone-metabolizing enzyme. Therefore, defective testicular testosterone production de-regulates hepatic Cyp-mediated testosterone metabolism to disrupt gametogenesis. These findings have important implications for understanding the side effects of therapeutics that disrupt Mrp4 function and are reported to alter androgen production.

MeSH Terms (18)

Animals Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases Cyclic AMP Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein Cytochrome P450 Family 2 Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic Humans Leydig Cells Liver Male Mice Mice, Knockout Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins Receptors, LH Spermatogenesis Steroid Hydroxylases Testosterone Up-Regulation

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