ResearchPad - androgens https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Deletion of inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase type-II B affects spermatogenesis in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14722 Inositol polyphosphate-4-phosphatase type II (INPP4B) is a dual-specificity phosphatase that acts as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers. INPP4B dephosphorylates phospholipids at the 4th position of the inositol ring and inhibits AKT and PKC signaling by hydrolyzing of PI(3,4)P2 and PI(4,5)P2, respectively. INPP4B protein phosphatase targets include phospho-tyrosines on Akt and phospho-serine and phospho-threonine on PTEN. INPP4B is highly expressed in testes, suggesting its role in testes development and physiology. The objective of this study was to determine whether Inpp4b deletion impacts testicular function in mice. In testis, Inpp4b expression was the highest in postmeiotic germ cells in both mice and men. The testes of Inpp4b knockout male mice were significantly smaller compared to the testes of wild-type (WT) males. Inpp4b-/- males produced fewer mature sperm cells compared to WT, and this difference increased with age and high fat diet (HFD). Reduction in early steroidogenic enzymes and luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor gene expression was detected, although androgen receptor (AR) protein level was similar in WT and Inpp4b-/- testes. Germ cell apoptosis was significantly increased in the knockout mice, while expression of meiotic marker γH2A.X was decreased. Our data demonstrate that INPP4B plays a role in maintenance of male germ cell differentiation and protects testis functions against deleterious effects of aging and high fat diet.

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<![CDATA[Estrogen receptor β exerts tumor suppressive effects in prostate cancer through repression of androgen receptor activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14708 Estrogen receptor β (ERβ) was first identified in the rodent prostate and is abundantly expressed in human and rodent prostate epithelium, stroma, immune cells and endothelium of the blood vessels. In the prostates of mice with inactivated ERβ, mutant phenotypes include epithelial hyperplasia and increased expression of androgen receptor (AR)-regulated genes, most of which are also upregulated in prostate cancer (PCa). ERβ is expressed in both basal and luminal cells in the prostate while AR is expressed in luminal but not in the basal cell layer which harbors the prostate stem cells. To investigate the mechanisms of action of ERβ and its potential cross-talk with AR, we used RNA-seq to study the effects of estradiol or the synthetic ligand, LY3201, in AR-positive LNCaP PCa cells which had been engineered to express ERβ. Transcriptomic analysis indicated relatively few changes in gene expression with ERβ overexpression, but robust responses following ligand treatments. There is significant overlap of responsive genes between the two ligands, estradiol and LY3201 as well as ligand-specific alterations. Gene set analysis of down-regulated genes identified an enrichment of androgen-responsive genes, such as FKBP5, CAMKK2, and TBC1D4. Consistently, AR transcript, protein levels, and transcriptional activity were down-regulated following ERβ activation. In agreement with this, we find that the phosphorylation of the CAMKK2 target, AMPK, was repressed by ligand-activated ERβ. These findings suggest that ERβ-mediated signaling pathways are involved in the negative regulation of AR expression and activity, thus supporting a tumor suppressive role for ERβ in PCa.

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<![CDATA[A grape seed extract maternal dietary supplementation improves egg quality and reduces ovarian steroidogenesis without affecting fertility parameters in reproductive hens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14599 In broiler hens, the genetic selection increased susceptibility to metabolic disorders and reproductive dysfunctions. In human ovarian cells, grape seed extracts (GSE) improved steroid production. Here, we investigated the effects of a GSE dietary supplementation on egg production and quality, fertility parameters, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and steroid content in yolk egg associated to plasma adipokines in broiler hens. For this, we designed two in vivo experiments, the first one included three groups of hens: A (control), B and C (supplemented with GSE at 0.5% and 1% of the total diet composition, respectively, since week 4), and the second one used two groups of hens: A (control) and D (supplemented with GSE at 1% of the total diet composition since hatching). We assessed the egg production from 23th to 40th weeks and quality at 33th week. After artificial inseminations, the fertility parameters were calculated. In egg yolk, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) level and steroid production were evaluated by Ros-Glo H202 and ELISA assay, respectively. Expression of steroidogenic enzymes and adipokines and their receptors was determined by RT-qPCR in ovarian cells and plasma adipokines (RARRES2, ADIPOQ and NAMPT) were evaluated by specific ELISA assays. The fertility parameters and egg production were unaffected by GSE supplementation whatever the experiment (exp.). However, the rate of double-yolk eggs decreased for all GSE supplemented groups (exp. 1 P <0.01, exp.2, P<0.02). In exp.1, C group eggs were bigger and larger (P<0.0001) and the shell elasticity was higher for both B and C (P<0.0003) as compared to control. In the egg yolk, GSE supplementation in both exp. reduced ROS content and steroidogenesis consistent with a decrease in P450 aromatase and StAR mRNA expression and basal in vitro progesterone secretion in granulosa cells (P<0.001). Interestingly, in both exp. RARRES2 plasma levels were positively correlated while ADIPOQ and NAMPT plasma levels were negatively correlated, with steroids and ROS in yolk (P<0.0001). Taken together, maternal dietary GSE supplementation did not affect egg production and fertility parameters whereas it reduced ROS content and steroidogenesis in yolk egg. Furthermore, it ameliorated egg quality by decreasing the number of double-yolk eggs and by improving the size of normal eggs and the elasticity of the shell. Taken together, our data suggest the possibility of using dietary maternal GSE to improve egg quality.

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<![CDATA[Corticosterone and testosterone treatment influence expression of gene pathways linked to meiotic segregation in preovulatory follicles of the domestic hen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14547 Decades of work indicate that female birds can control their offspring sex ratios in response to environmental and social cues. In laying hens, hormones administered immediately prior to sex chromosome segregation can exert sex ratio skews, indicating that these hormones may act directly on the germinal disc to influence which sex chromosome is retained in the oocyte and which is discarded into an unfertilizable polar body. We aimed to uncover the gene pathways involved in this process by testing whether treatments with testosterone or corticosterone that were previously shown to influence sex ratios elicit changes in the expression of genes and/or gene pathways involved in the process of meiotic segregation. We injected laying hens with testosterone, corticosterone, or control oil 5h prior to ovulation and collected germinal discs from the F1 preovulatory follicle in each hen 1.5h after injection. We used RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) followed by DESeq2 and gene set enrichment analyses to identify genes and gene pathways that were differentially expressed between germinal discs of control and hormone-treated hens. Corticosterone treatment triggered downregulation of 13 individual genes, as well as enrichment of gene sets related to meiotic spindle organization and chromosome segregation, and additional gene sets that function in ion transport. Testosterone treatment triggered upregulation of one gene, and enrichment of one gene set that functions in nuclear chromosome segregation. This work indicates that corticosterone can be a potent regulator of meiotic processes and provides potential gene targets on which corticosterone and/or testosterone may act to influence offspring sex ratios in birds.

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<![CDATA[Heterochrony of puberty in the European badger (Meles meles) can be explained by growth rate and group-size: Evidence for two endocrinological phenotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897769d5eed0c4847d2c1b

Puberty is a key stage in mammalian ontogeny, involving endocrinological, physiological and behavioural changes, moderated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Thus, not all individuals within one population achieve sexual maturity simultaneously. Here, using the European badger (Meles meles) as a model, we describe male testosterone and female oestrone profiles (using Enzyme-immunoassays) from first capture (3 months, post-weaning) until 28 months (attaining sexual maturity and final body size), along with metrics of somatic growth, scent gland development and maturation of external reproductive organs as well as intra-specific competition. In both sexes, endocrinological puberty commenced at ca. 11 months. Thereafter, cub hormone levels followed adult seasonal hormone patterns but at lower levels, with the majority of cubs reaching sexual maturity during their second mating season (22–28 months). Interestingly, there was evidence for two endocrinological phenotypes among male cubs (less evident in females), with early developers reaching sexual maturity at 11 months (first mating season) and late developers reaching sexual maturity at 22–26 months (second mating season). Early developers also attained a greater proportion of their ultimate adult size by 11 months, exhibiting faster growth rates than late developers (despite having similar adult size). Male cubs born into larger social groups tended to follow the late developer phenotype. Our results support the hypothesis that a minimum body size is required to reach sexual maturity, which may be achieved at different ages, even within a single population, where early maturity can confer individual fitness advantages and enhance population growth rate.

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<![CDATA[Molecular and genetic characterization of partial masculinization in embryonic ovaries grafted into male nude mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977afd5eed0c4847d330e

In most of mammalian embryos, gonadal sex differentiation occurs inside the maternal uterus before birth. In several fetal ovarian grafting experiments using male host mice, an experimental switch from the maternal intrauterine to male-host environment gradually induces partial masculinization of the grafted ovaries even under the wild-type genotype. However, either host-derived factors causing or molecular basis underlying this masculinization of the fetal ovaries are not clear. Here, we demonstrate that ectopic appearance of SOX9-positive Sertoli cell-like cells in grafted ovaries was mediated by the testosterone derived from the male host. Neither Sox8 nor Amh activity in the ovarian tissues is essential for such ectopic appearance of SOX9-positive cells. The transcriptome analyses of the grafted ovaries during this masculinization process showed early downregulation of pro-ovarian genes such as Irx3, Nr0b1/Dax1, Emx2, and Fez1/Lzts1 by days 7–10 post-transplantation, and subsequent upregulation of several pro-testis genes, such as Bhlhe40, Egr1/2, Nr4a2, and Zc3h12c by day 20, leading to a partial sex reversal with altered expression profiles in one-third of the total numbers of the sex-dimorphic pre-granulosa and Sertoli cell-specific genes at 12.5 dpc. Our data imply that the paternal testosterone exposure is partially responsible for the sex-reversal expression profiles of certain pro-ovarian and pro-testis genes in the fetal ovaries in a temporally dependent manner.

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<![CDATA[The effect of endurance training and testosterone supplementation on the expression of blood spinal cord barrier proteins in rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2694d5eed0c484289cf8

The present study aimed to estimate the effect of endurance training, two doses of testosterone, and the combination of these stimuli on the level of the endothelial proteins claudin, occludin, JAM-1, VE-cadherin, ZO-1, ZO-2, and P-glycoprotein in rat spinal cords. Adult male Wistar rats were trained using a motor-driven treadmill for 6 weeks (40–60 min, 5 times per week) and/or were treated for 6 weeks with two doses of testosterone (i.m.; 8 mg/kg or 80 mg/kg body weight). Spinal cords were collected 48 hours after the last training cycle and stored at -80°C. The levels of selected proteins in whole tissue lysates of the spinal cord were measured by western blot. Testosterone-treated trained rats had significantly lower claudin levels than vehicle-treated trained rats. High doses of testosterone resulted in a significant decrease in claudin-5 in untrained rats compared to the control group. Both doses of testosterone significantly reduced occludin levels compared to those in vehicle-treated untrained rats. The JAM-1 level in the spinal cords of both trained and untrained animals receiving testosterone was decreased in a dose-dependent manner. The JAM-1 level in the trained group treated with high doses of testosterone was significantly higher than that in the untrained rats treated with 80 mg/kg of testosterone. VE-cadherin levels were decreased in all groups receiving testosterone regardless of endurance training and were also diminished in the vehicle-treated group compared to the control group. Testosterone treatment did not exert a significant effect on ZO-1 protein levels. Testosterone and/or training had no significant effects on ZO-2 protein levels in the rat spinal cords. Endurance training increased P-glycoprotein levels in the rat spinal cords. The results suggest that an excessive supply of testosterone may adversely impact the expression of endothelial proteins in the central nervous system, which, in turn, may affect the blood-brain barrier function.

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<![CDATA[Revisiting the Trivers-Willard theory on birth sex ratio bias: Role of paternal condition in a Malagasy primate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269744d5eed0c48470f113

Within current theories on potential adaptive manipulation of offspring sex ratio, giving birth to a male or to a female is assumed to depend on the capacity of the mother to invest in offspring to maximize her fitness. The active role of the father in sex ratio bias at birth has been neglected until recently. The human sex ratio at birth is biased towards sons, although in occidental populations, the ratio has decreased regularly for 30 years and could be the consequence of the adverse effects of environmental chemicals on male hormones. In a Malagasy primate, the lesser mouse lemur, the potential effect of paternal testosterone levels on sex ratio bias at birth was tested on 130 litters (278 babies) produced in 52 mixed-sex groups. For each group, social dominance among males was characterized based on aggressive interactions and sexual behaviours. Using a multi correspondence analysis, high testosterone levels in grouped males, particularly those of the dominant male, were significantly correlated with more infants produced in male-biased litters, independent of the female condition. According to these results, predictions for sex ratio bias towards one sex or the other in mouse lemurs were discussed considering the influence of both parents.

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<![CDATA[New insights of polyamine metabolism in testicular physiology: A role of ornithine decarboxylase antizyme inhibitor 2 (AZIN2) in the modulation of testosterone levels and sperm motility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f275d5eed0c484046c9b

The specific role of polyamines in the testis physiology is not fully understood. Antizymes (OAZs) and antizyme inhibitors (AZINs) are modulators of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a key enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis and polyamine uptake. Although the three known OAZs are expressed in the testis, only OAZ3 is testis specific and has been proven to have an essential role in male fertility. Regarding the two existing AZINs, AZIN2 is the most abundantly expressed member in this gonad. Whereas previous studies suggested that AZIN2 might participate in mouse spermatogenesis, immunohistological analysis of human testicular sections revealed that AZIN2 is also detected in the steroidogenic Leydig cells but not in the germinal epithelium. In the present study, we found a close ontogenic similarity in the mRNA levels of OAZs and AZINs between mice and rats, but an opposite expression pattern of ODC activity. Further analysis of AZIN2 and OAZ3 in the testis of mice with different alterations in spermatogenesis and fertility, induced either genetically or pharmacologically, corroborated that both AZIN2 and OAZ3 are mainly expressed in the haploid germinal cells. Finally, by using transgenic mice with a truncated Azin2 gene fused to the bacterial lacZ gene, we studied the expression of Azin2 in testes, epididymides and spermatozoa. AZIN2 was detected in spermatids and spermatozoa, as well as in Leydig cells, and in epithelial epidydimal cells. Azin2 knock-out male mice were fertile; however, they showed marked decreases in testicular putrescine and plasma and testicular testosterone levels, and a dramatic reduction in the sperm motility. These results suggest an important role for AZIN2 in testicular cells by modulating polyamine concentrations, testosterone synthesis and sperm function. Overall, our data corroborate the relevance of polyamine regulation in testis functions, where both AZIN2 and OAZ3 play fundamental roles.

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<![CDATA[Cost-effectiveness analyses and cost analyses in castration-resistant prostate cancer: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117bd5d5eed0c48469a9cf

Background

Treatment of metastatic prostate cancer is associated with high personal and economic burden. Recently, new treatment options for castration-resistant prostate cancer became available with promising survival advantages. However, cost-effectiveness of those new treatment options is sometimes ambiguous or given only under certain circumstances. The aim of this study was to systematically review studies on the cost-effectiveness of treatments and costs of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and metastasizing castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) on their methodological quality and the risk of bias.

Methods

A systematic literature search was performed in the databases PubMed, CINAHL Complete, the Cochrane Library and Web of Science Core Collection for costs-effectiveness analyses, model-based economic evaluations, cost-of-illness analyses and budget impact analyses. Reported costs were inflated to 2015 US$ purchasing power parities. Quality assessment and risk of bias assessment was performed using the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards checklist and the Bias in Economic Evaluations checklist, respectively.

Results

In total, 38 articles were identified by the systematic literature search. The methodological quality of the included studies varied widely, and there was considerable risk of bias. The cost-effectiveness treatments for CRPC and mCRPC was assessed with incremental cost-effectiveness ratios ranging from dominance for mitoxantrone to $562,328 per quality-adjusted life year gained for sipuleucel-T compared with prednisone alone. Annual costs for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer ranged from $3,067 to $77,725.

Conclusion

The cost-effectiveness of treatments of CRPC strongly depended on the willingness to pay per quality-adjusted life year gained/life-year saved throughout all included costs-effectiveness analyses and model-based economic evaluations. High-quality cost-effectiveness analyses based on randomized controlled trials are needed in order to make informed decisions on the management of castration-resistant prostate cancer and the resulting financial impact on the healthcare system.

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<![CDATA[The relationship between iron deficiency anemia and sexual function and satisfaction among reproductive-aged Iranian women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cefcd5eed0c484913c90

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a common micronutrient deficiency worldwide, and an important health problem especially in women of reproductive age. This study aimed to determine the relationship between IDA and sexual satisfaction and function among reproductive-aged Iranian women. In this study, 129 women (52 with IDA and 77 non-IDA) with age 18–45 in Mahshahr, Iran were recruited. Data was gathered by a demographic questionnaire, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Larson Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using an independent t-test, Mann-Whitney test, Chi-square, and correlation coefficient test. The results of this study showed that the means of hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (HCT), serum iron and ferritin were significantly lower in the IDA group than those in the non-IDA group (p<0.01). All dimensions of sexual function and satisfaction were significantly lower in women with IDA compared to the healthy women (p<0.001). Also, all blood indices for IDA had a significant relationship with all sexual function components and sexual satisfaction (p = 0.01) except for pain with Hb and ferritin. Health care providers should provide screening, education, and counseling about anemia and sexual function in reproductive age women.

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<![CDATA[Testosterone and Androgen Receptor Sensitivity in Relation to Hyperactivity Symptoms in Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75d78

Introduction

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and hyperactivity symptoms exhibit an incidence that is male-biased. Thus androgen activity can be considered a plausible biological risk factor for these disorders. However, there is insufficient information about the association between increased androgen activity and hyperactivity symptoms in children with ASD.

Methods

In the present study, the relationship between parameters of androgenicity (plasmatic testosterone levels and androgen receptor sensitivity) and hyperactivity in 60 boys (age 3–15) with ASD is investigated. Given well documented differences in parent and trained examiners ratings of symptom severity, we employed a standardized parent`s questionnaire (Nisonger Child Behavior Rating Form) as well as a direct examiner`s rating (Autism diagnostic observation schedule) for assessment of hyperactivity symptoms.

Results

Although it was found there was no significant association between actual plasmatic testosterone levels and hyperactivity symptoms, the number of CAG triplets was significantly negatively correlated with hyperactivity symptoms (R2 = 0.118, p = 0.007) in the sample, indicating increased androgen receptor sensitivity in association with hyperactivity symptoms. Direct trained examiner´s assessment appeared to be a relevant method for evaluating of behavioral problems in the investigation of biological underpinnings of these problems in our study.

Conclusions

A potential ASD subtype characterized by increased rates of hyperactivity symptoms might have distinct etiopathogenesis and require a specific behavioral and pharmacological approach. We propose an increase of androgen receptor sensitivity as a biomarker for a specific ASD subtype accompanied with hyperactivity symptoms. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for practice and future research.

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<![CDATA[A Computational Approach to Evaluate the Androgenic Affinity of Iprodione, Procymidone, Vinclozolin and Their Metabolites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d1ab0ee8fa60b64642

Our research is aimed at devising and assessing a computational approach to evaluate the affinity of endocrine active substances (EASs) and their metabolites towards the ligand binding domain (LBD) of the androgen receptor (AR) in three distantly related species: human, rat, and zebrafish. We computed the affinity for all the selected molecules following a computational approach based on molecular modelling and docking. Three different classes of molecules with well-known endocrine activity (iprodione, procymidone, vinclozolin, and a selection of their metabolites) were evaluated. Our approach was demonstrated useful as the first step of chemical safety evaluation since ligand-target interaction is a necessary condition for exerting any biological effect. Moreover, a different sensitivity concerning AR LBD was computed for the tested species (rat being the least sensitive of the three). This evidence suggests that, in order not to over−/under-estimate the risks connected with the use of a chemical entity, further in vitro and/or in vivo tests should be carried out only after an accurate evaluation of the most suitable cellular system or animal species. The introduction of in silico approaches to evaluate hazard can accelerate discovery and innovation with a lower economic effort than with a fully wet strategy.

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<![CDATA[Risk Preferences and Prenatal Exposure to Sex Hormones for Ladinos]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fbab0ee8fa60b7215a

Risk preferences drive much of human decision making including investment, career and health choices and many more. Thus, understanding the determinants of risk preferences refines our understanding of choice in a broad array of environments. We assess the relationship between risk preferences, prenatal exposure to sex hormones and gender for a sample of Ladinos, which is an ethnic group comprising 62.86% of the population of Guatemala. Prenatal exposure to sex hormones has organizational effects on brain development, and has been shown to partially explain risk preferences for Caucasians. We measure prenatal exposure to sex hormones using the ratio of the length of the index finger to the length of the ring finger (2D:4D), which is negatively (positively) correlated with prenatal exposure to testosterone (estrogen). We find that Ladino males are less risk averse than Ladino females, and that Ladino males have lower 2D:4D ratios than Ladino females on both hands. We find that the 2D:4D ratio does not explain risk preferences for Ladinos. This is true for both genders, and both hands. Our results highlight the importance of exploring the behavioral significance of 2D:4D in non-Caucasian racial groups.

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<![CDATA[Multi-drug loaded micelles delivering chemotherapy and targeted therapies directed against HSP90 and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in prostate cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc10e

Background

Advanced prostate cancers that are resistant to all current therapies create a need for new therapeutic strategies. One recent innovative approach to cancer therapy is the simultaneous use of multiple FDA-approved drugs to target multiple pathways. A challenge for this approach is caused by the different solubility requirements of each individual drug, resulting in the need for a drug vehicle that is non-toxic and capable of carrying multiple water-insoluble antitumor drugs. Micelles have recently been shown to be new candidate drug solubilizers for anti cancer therapy.

Methods

This study set out to examine the potential use of multi-drug loaded micelles for prostate cancer treatment in preclinical models including cell line and mouse models for prostate cancers with Pten deletions. Specifically antimitotic agent docetaxel, mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, and HSP90 inhibitor 17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin were incorporated into the micelle system (DR17) and tested for antitumor efficacy.

Results

In vitro growth inhibition of prostate cancer cells was greater when all three drugs were used in combination compared to each individual drug, and packaging the drugs into micelles enhanced the cytotoxic effects. At the molecular level DR17 targeted simultaneously several molecular signaling axes important in prostate cancer including androgen receptor, mTOR, and PI3K/AKT. In a mouse genetic model of prostate cancer, DR17 treatment decreased prostate weight, which was achieved by both increasing caspase-dependent cell death and decreasing cell proliferation. Similar effects were also observed when DR17 was administered to nude mice bearing prostate cancer cells xenografts.

Conclusion

These results suggest that combining these three cancer drugs in multi-drug loaded micelles may be a promising strategy for prostate cancer therapy.

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<![CDATA[60-Day Chronic Exposure to Low Concentrations of HgCl2 Impairs Sperm Quality: Hormonal Imbalance and Oxidative Stress as Potential Routes for Reproductive Dysfunction in Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4cab0ee8fa60bdab79

Mercury is a toxic and bio-accumulative heavy metal of global concern. While good deals of research have been conducted on the toxic effects of mercury, little is known about the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of male reproductive dysfunction induced by mercury. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects and underlying mechanisms of chronic mercury exposure at low levels on male reproductive system of rats. Three-month-old male Wistar rats were divided into two groups and treated for 60 days with saline (i.m., Control) and HgCl2 (i.m. 1st dose: 4.6 µg/kg, subsequent doses 0.07 µg/kg/day). We analyzed sperm parameters, hormonal levels and biomarkers of oxidative stress in testis, epididymis, prostate and vas deferens. Mercury treatment decreased daily sperm production, count and motility and increased head and tail morphologic abnormalities. Moreover, mercury treatment decreased luteinizing hormone levels, increased lipid peroxidation on testis and decreased antioxidant enzymes activities (superoxide dismutase and catalase) on reproductive organs. Our data demonstrate that 60-day chronic exposure to low concentrations of HgCl2 impairs sperm quality and promotes hormonal imbalance. The raised oxidative stress seems to be a potential mechanism involved on male reproductive toxicity by mercury.

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<![CDATA[Long-lasting masculinizing effects of postnatal androgens on myelin governed by the brain androgen receptor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab18494463d7e5ca175d923

The oligodendrocyte density is greater and myelin sheaths are thicker in the adult male mouse brain when compared with females. Here, we show that these sex differences emerge during the first 10 postnatal days, precisely at a stage when a late wave of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells arises and starts differentiating. Androgen levels, analyzed by gas chromatography/tandem-mass spectrometry, were higher in males than in females during this period. Treating male pups with flutamide, an androgen receptor (AR) antagonist, or female pups with 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT), revealed the importance of postnatal androgens in masculinizing myelin and their persistent effect into adulthood. A key role of the brain AR in establishing the sexual phenotype of myelin was demonstrated by its conditional deletion. Our results uncover a new persistent effect of postnatal AR signaling, with implications for neurodevelopmental disorders and sex differences in multiple sclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Umbilical cord androgens and estrogens in relation to verbal and nonverbal abilities at age 10 in the general population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc4a6

Sex differences in verbal and nonverbal abilities are a contentious area of research. Prenatal steroids have been shown to have masculinizing effects on the brain that may affect the development of nonverbal and verbal abilities in later life. The current study examined a wide range of biologically active sex steroids (both androgens and estrogens) in umbilical cord blood at birth in a large pregnancy cohort in relation to performance on nonverbal (Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices) and verbal (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-3 and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III) measures at age 10 years. Overall, Androgen and Estrogen composites in cord blood were not found to be predictive of performance on verbal and nonverbal measures at age 10. These data suggest that late gestation sex steroids do not exert a major effect on nonverbal and verbal abilities in middle childhood.

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<![CDATA[Participation of androgen and its receptor in sex determination of an amphibian species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0312

Introduction

In the Japanese frog Rana (R.) rugosa the androgen receptor (AR) gene on the W chromosome (W-AR) is barely expressed. Previously we showed that incomplete female-to-male sex-reversal occurred in Z-AR transgenic female frogs. To date, however, there is no report showing that AR with androgens can determine genetically programed male sex fate in any vertebrate species. Here, we examined whether AR together with androgens functions as a sex determinant in an amphibian species.

Methods

To examine whether complete female-to-male sex-reversal occurs in R. rugosa frogs, we produced AR-transgenic (Tg) and -knockdown (KD) female R. rugosa frogs by the I-SceI meganuclease-mediated gene trap and CRISPR/Cas9 system, respectively. AR-Tg and -KD tadpoles were reared in water containing testosterone (T) at 0 to 7.1 ng/ml. Frozen sections were prepared from the gonads of metamorphosed frogs and immunostained for laminin, Vasa, Pat1a, CYP17 and AR. We also employed PCR analysis to examine Dmrt1, Pat1a and CYP17 expression in the gonads of KD and placebo-KD female frogs.

Results

Complete female-to-male sex-reversal occurred in the AR-Tg ZW female frogs when a low dosage of T was supplied in the rearing water of tadpoles. However, no sex-reversal was observed in AR-KD ZW female frogs when the gonads were treated with dosages of T high enough to induce complete female-to-male sex-reversal even in wild type frogs.

Discussion

These results suggest that AR with its androgen ligand functions as a male sex-determinant in the ZW type R. rugosa frogs.

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<![CDATA[Former Abusers of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids Exhibit Decreased Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadal Symptoms Years after Cessation: A Case-Control Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc6f6d

Aims

Abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is highly prevalent among male recreational athletes. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of AAS abuse on reproductive hormone levels and symptoms suggestive of hypogonadism in current and former AAS abusers.

Methods

This study had a cross-sectional case-control design and involved 37 current AAS abusers, 33 former AAS abusers (mean (95%CI) elapsed duration since AAS cessation: 2.5 (1.7; 3.7) years) and 30 healthy control participants. All participants were aged 18–50 years and were involved in recreational strength training. Reproductive hormones (FSH, LH, testosterone, inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH)) were measured using morning blood samples. Symptoms of hypogonadism (depressive symptoms, fatigue, decreased libido and erectile dysfunction) were recorded systematically.

Results

Former AAS abusers exhibited significantly lower median (25th –75th percentiles) total and free testosterone levels than control participants (total testosterone: 14.4 (11.9–17.7) nmol/l vs. 18.8 (16.6–22.0) nmol/l) (P < 0.01). Overall, 27.2% (13.3; 45.5) of former AAS abusers exhibited plasma total testosterone levels below the lower reference limit (12.1 nmol/l) whereas no control participants exhibited testosterone below this limit (P < 0.01). Gonadotropins were significantly suppressed, and inhibin B and AMH were significantly decreased in current AAS abusers compared with former AAS abusers and control participants (P < 0.01). The group of former AAS abusers had higher proportions of participants with depressive symptoms ((24.2%) (11.1; 42.2)), erectile dysfunction ((27.3%) (13.3; 45.6)) and decreased libido ((40.1%) (23.2; 57.0)) than the other two groups (trend analyses: P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Former AAS abusers exhibited significantly lower plasma testosterone levels and higher frequencies of symptoms suggestive of hypogonadism than healthy control participants years after AAS cessation. Current AAS abusers exhibited severely decreased AMH and inhibin B indicative of impaired spermatogenesis.

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