Relaxin and Sertoli cell proliferation

Aline R. Nascimento, Maristela T. Pimenta, Thais F.G. Lucas, Catarina S. Porto, Maria F.M. Lazari


Immature Sertoli cells proliferate and several factors affect their number, including the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, estradiol and several paracrine growth factors. Using a primary culture of Sertoli cells isolated from 15-day old Wistar rats we have shown that relaxin stimulates Sertoli cell proliferation through the activation of MEK/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT pathways. In contrast, FSH inhibited both ERK1/2 and AKT phosphorylation. Furthermore, FSH strongly increased cAMP production, whereas relaxin inhibited basal cAMP production. Our results indicate that in rat Sertoli cells from 15-day old rats relaxin and FSH affect the same signaling pathways in opposite directions. Interplay between both hormones may be important to control the proliferation and differentiation of Sertoli cells.


relaxin; FSH; Sertoli cells; cell proliferation

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