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Specific transcriptomic signatures and dual regulation of steroidogenesis between fetal and adult mouse leydig cells

Published inFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, vol. 9, 695546
Publication date2021
Abstract

Leydig cells (LC) are the main testicular androgen-producing cells. In eutherian mammals, two types of LCs emerge successively during testicular development, fetal Leydig cells (FLCs) and adult Leydig cells (ALCs). Both display significant differences in androgen production and regulation. Using bulk RNA sequencing, we compared the transcriptomes of both LC populations to characterize their specific transcriptional and functional features. Despite similar transcriptomic profiles, a quarter of the genes show significant variations in expression between FLCs and ALCs. Non-transcriptional events, such as alternative splicing was also observed, including a high rate of intron retention in FLCs compared to ALCs. The use of single-cell RNA sequencing data also allowed the identification of nine FLC-specific genes and 50 ALC-specific genes. Expression of the corticotropin-releasing hormone 1 (Crhr1) receptor and the ACTH receptor melanocortin type 2 receptor (Mc2r) specifically in FLCs suggests a dual regulation of steroidogenesis. The androstenedione synthesis by FLCs is stimulated by luteinizing hormone (LH), corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) whereas the testosterone synthesis by ALCs is dependent exclusively on LH. Overall, our study provides a useful database to explore LC development and functions.

Citation (ISO format)
SARAROLS, Pauline et al. Specific transcriptomic signatures and dual regulation of steroidogenesis between fetal and adult mouse leydig cells. In: Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 2021, vol. 9, p. 695546. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.695546
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ISSN of the journal2296-634X
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Creation07/21/2021 5:18:00 PM
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