The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology vol:48 issue:2-3 pages:165-70
Cystatin-related protein (CRP), also known as 20 (22)-kDa glycoprotein is expressed not only in the ventral prostate, but also in the lacrimal gland of adult male rats. In this study the expression of CRP in androgen-treated female animals is studied. CRP mRNA is absent in the lacrimal gland of untreated adult female rats, but can be induced by androgens, although this induction is slower than in castrated male rats. Estradiol, progesterone or glucocorticoids have no effect. In testicular feminized rats, however, CRP mRNA is not induced in the lacrimal gland by androgens. At the protein level, the presence of CRP in tears of adult male rats is demonstrated. In female animals or castrated male animals CRP can be induced by androgens in a dose-dependent way. Here also the induction is slower in female rats, even during secondary induction after previous full stimulation by androgens. These results indicate that androgens and a functionally normal androgen receptor are essential for the expression of CRP in the lacrimal gland. The time course of induction depends on the dose of androgens, the previous contact with androgens, the duration of the androgen-free interval and the sex of the animals.