Alterations in steroidogenesis and human chorionic gonadotropin binding in the cryptorchid rat testis

D M de KretserI A Swanston


One month after the induction of cryptorchidism in adult rats, serum levels of LH and FSH were significantly elevated in comparison with sham-operated controls, whereas serum levels of testosterone remained low to normal. Testis weight in cryptorchid rats was reduced by over 66%, and once the extratubular fluid was removed by decapsulation, the reduction in weight was 78%. The basal production of testosterone, pregnenolone, and estradiol in vitro by testes from cryptorchid rats was similar to controls, whereas significantly less androstenedione was produced. Testicular stimulation in vitro with a high dose of hCG (360 pM) resulted in significantly greater production of testosterone, pregnenolone, and estradiol by cryptorchid than by control rat tissue. The in vitro binding of [125I]hCG per testis was decreased in the cryptorchid state to 40% of control values, probably as a result of down-regulation of LH receptors due to the 4-fold elevation of serum LH levels in the cryptorchid rats.


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