Dexamethasone acutely down-regulates genes involved in steroidogenesis in stallion testes. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In rodents, livestock and primate species, a single dose of the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone acutely lowers testosterone biosynthesis. To determine the mechanism of decreased testosterone biosynthesis, stallions were treated with 0.1mg/kg dexamethasone 12h prior to castration. Dexamethasone decreased serum concentrations of testosterone by 60% compared to saline-treated control stallions. Transcriptome analyses (microarrays, northern blots and quantitative PCR) of testes discovered that dexamethasone treatment decreased concentrations of glucocorticoid receptor alpha (NR3C1), alpha actinin 4 (ACTN4), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHCGR), squalene epoxidase (SQLE), 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR24), glutathione S-transferase A3 (GSTA3) and aromatase (CYP19A1) mRNAs. Dexamethasone increased concentrations of NFkB inhibitor A (NFKBIA) mRNA in testes. SQLE, DHCR24 and GSTA3 mRNAs were predominantly expressed by Leydig cells. In man and livestock, the GSTA3 protein provides a major 3-ketosteroid isomerase activity: conversion of (5)-androstenedione to (4)-androstenedione, the immediate precursor of testosterone. Consistent with the decrease in GSTA3 mRNA, dexamethasone decreased the 3-ketosteroid isomerase activity in testicular extracts. In conclusion, dexamethasone acutely decreased the expression of genes involved in hormone signaling (NR3C1, ACTN4 and LHCGR), cholesterol synthesis (SQLE and DHCR24) and steroidogenesis (GSTA3 and CYP19A1) along with testosterone production. This is the first report of dexamethasone down-regulating expression of the GSTA3 gene and a very late step in testosterone biosynthesis. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved may lead to new approaches to modulate androgen regulation of the physiology of humans and livestock in health and disease.

published proceedings

  • J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Ing, N. H., Forrest, D. W., Riggs, P. K., Loux, S., Love, C. C., Brinsko, S. P., Varner, D. D., & Welsh, T. H.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Ing, Nancy H||Forrest, David W||Riggs, Penny K||Loux, Shavahn||Love, Charlie C||Brinsko, Steven P||Varner, Dickson D||Welsh, Thomas H

publication date

  • September 2014