Molecular and cellular endocrinology vol:101 issue:1-2 pages:263-75
Peritubular myoid cells derived from immature rat testes produce factors that modulate Sertoli cell function (P-Mod-S). The secretion of these factors is controlled in part by androgens. Cultured prostatic stromal cells strongly resemble peritubular myoid cells and produce mediators with similar activity. Here we investigated whether myoid cell lines can be used as a source of P-Mod-S-like factors. Rat kidney fibroblast (NRK) and mouse fibroblast (3T3) cell lines were used as non-myoid controls. Surprisingly, serum-free media conditioned by all cell lines studied modulated Sertoli cell function in a similar fashion as media conditioned by peritubular cells (PTCM) or stromal cells (STCM). Using Sertoli cell transferrin secretion as an endpoint for P-Mod-S-like activity, the nature of the active principles involved was further explored. The observed activity could not be explained by residual contamination with fetal calf serum. Moreover, the effects of the conditioned media could not be mimicked by classical growth factors (IGF-I, bFGF, EGF, TGF-beta, NGF, PDGF-BB) added singly or in combination with submaximally effective concentrations of PTCM. Finally, the possibility that conditioned media might indirectly enhance Sertoli cell function by promoting the production or deposition of extracellular matrix elements was made unlikely by the demonstration that the observed effects were not mimicked by Matrigel and were unaffected when Sertoli cells were seeded on Matrigel. Superdex 75 chromatography after analytical reversed-phase chromatography indicates that the factors from different origin have a similar size (45-50 kDa). It is concluded that mediators with P-Mod-S-like activity are produced by various cells and cell lines both with and without smooth muscle cell characteristics. Whether the active principles involved are really identical requires further investigation.