Date of Defense

Spring 4-1977


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Leonard Beuving

Second Advisor

Samuel Clark

Third Advisor

Stephen Friedman


The effect of prostaglandins on Leydig cell production of testosterone was determined in vitro. Collagenase dispersed rat Leydig cells were incubated 2.5 hours with gonadotropins (bLH, oLH or HCG) or with prostaglandins (PGA1, PGE1, PGE2, or PGF). Determination of testosterone production in media was made by radioimmunoassay. As little as 0.1 µg bLH or oLH, 0.1 IU HCG stimulated testosterone synthesis. Higher dose levels of these hormones (10 - 100 µg bLH or oLH, or 10 - 100 IU HCG) did not increase steroidogensis, possibly due to cell death by a pH change in the incubation media. Addition of 10 µg PGA1 or PGE2 plus 10 IU HCG to incubation media, showed a ptoentiating effect for both prostaglandins on testosterone synthesis. PGE2 (0.01 - 100 µg) alone did not effect testosterone production, while PGA1 (0.01 - 100 µg) alone inhibited production. PGE1 decreased testosterone synthesis at the lower doses tested (0.01 - 1 µg) and increased synthesis at a higher dose (10 µg). PGF (0.01 - 100 µg) showed a slight stimulation of steroidogenesis which was not statistically significant. These studies indicate that the Leydig cell is stimulated by gonadotropins in vitro to produce testosterone. It appears that some natural prostaglandins also stimulate testosterone production, possibly by mimicking the action of trophic hormones. The inhibition of testosterone production at high prostaglandin concentrations may result from blockage of an enzymatic reaction in the testosterone pathway or may be a toxic effect of these drug levels.


Jochanan Stenesh

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only