Morphology and function of human Leydig cells in vitro. Immunocytochemical and radioimmunological analyses


The aim of our study was to show whether the cells isolated from testes of patients underwent bilateral orchiectomy for prostatic cancer are able to grown in vitro, and if so, are functionally active. Immuncytochemistry was performed to show the functional status of human cultured cells. In detail, immunolocalization of luteinizing hormone receptors (LHR), mitochondria, and cytoskeletal elements was demonstrated. Moreover, radioimmunological assay was used to measure testosterone secretion by cultured Leydig cells. Using Nomarski interference contrast and fine immunofluorescence analysis the positive immunostaining for LHR was observed in almost all Leydig cells, however it was of various intensity in individual cells. Testosterone measurement revealed significant difference between testosterone secretion by hCG-stimulated and unstimulated Leydig cells (p<0.05). Moreover, testosterone levels were significantly higher in 24- and 48- hour-cultures than in those of 72 hrs (p<0.05). Morphological analysis of Leydig cells in culture revealed the presence of mononuclear and multinucleate cells. The latter cells occurred in both hCG-stimulated and unstimulated cultures. In Leydig cells labeled with a molecular marker MitoTtracker, an abundance of mitochondria and typical distribution of microtubules and microfilaments were observed irrespective of the number of nuclei within the cell, suggesting no functional differences between mono- and multinucleate human Leydig cells in vitro. Since the percentage of multinucleate cells was similar in both hCG-stimulated and unstimulated cultures (23.70% and 22.80%), respectively, the appearance of these cell population seems to be independent of hormonal stimulation.



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How to Cite
Bilinska, B., Kotula-Balak, M., & Sadowska, J. (2009). Morphology and function of human Leydig cells in vitro. Immunocytochemical and radioimmunological analyses. European Journal of Histochemistry, 53(1), e5.