Testis-Like Steroidogenesis: RESULTS(4)

23 Apr

RESULTS(4)Production of Testosterone In Vitro

Interstitial glands from reproductively inactive females metabolized the [14C]progesterone into predominantly testosterone at levels comparable to those observed for the testes from reproductively inactive and active males (Table 2). In contrast, the ovarian portion of the ovotestis from reproductively inactive females converted significantly less of the [14C]progesterone into testosterone (p < 0.029, Table 2) and, unlike the interstitial gland, also synthesized estradiol (Table 2). It is likely that contaminating interstitial gland contributed to the production of testosterone in these samples. We were unable to separate the ovotestes from one female into their respective interstitial gland and ovarian portions, and so they were incubated intact. ampicillin antibiotic

As expected, testosterone and estradiol were both synthesized at levels similar to those observed for the animals from which the respective portions had been incubated separately (Table 2). Intact ovotestes from pregnant females in spring did not produce detectable amounts of testosterone but did synthesize estradiol (Table 2). Similarly, ovotestes from the one nonpregnant female captured in spring metabolized the [14C]progesterone into estradiol (Table 2).


AnimalNaGonadal weightb (mg)Plasma A (ng/ml)Plasma T (ng/ml)Gonadal T (^g/mg protein)Total gonadal T (^g)
Spring: pregnant 12 (10)28.3 ± 8.90.75 ± 0.690.41 ± 0.270.24 ± 0.217.2 ± 7.2
Spring: nonpregnant1402.61.40.9939.4
Autumn5 63.8 ± 27.7*1.22 ± 0.461.06 ± 0.22*1.57 ± 0.65*90.9 ± 61.0*
Autumn2-3 c116.7 ± 13.62.03 ± 0.921.75 ± 0.1913.3 ± 2.91372/1504

a Total sample size for gonadal weight and plasma steroid (in parentheses is sample size for gonadal androgen content); A = androstenedione, T = testosterone.
b Mean gonadal weight of paired gonads.
c Values given separately for each individual (in order to show different measurements) with sample size of 2.
* Significantly different (p < 0.01) from values for pregnant spring females.


TissueNSteroid productiona
Testosterone (%)Estradiol (%)
Spring ovotestis (pregnant)12nondetectable6.9 ± 2.3
Spring ovotestis (nonpregnant)1nondetectable4.62
Autumn ovary417.5 ± 10.15.1 ± 2.9
Autumn interstitial gland445.3 ± 15.6*nondetectable
Autumn intact ovotestis141.38.5
Spring testis2b51.0/51.5nondetectable
Autumn testis350.0 ± 8.0nondetectable

a Data are presented as percentage means ± SD and indicate the percentage of metabolized [14C]progesterone that was present as testosterone and estradiol. b Values given separately for each individual.
* Significantly different from spring ovotestis and autumn ovary (p < 0.029).