The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 35: 77 - 82 (1991)

Vol 35, Issue 2

Developmental and hormonal regulation of specific proteins in mouse vas deferens and seminal vesicle

Published: 30 November -0001

C Jean-Faucher, C Guilbaud, M Manin and C Jean

Physiologie Comparée et Endocrinologie, CNRS URA 360, Université Blaise Pascal, Les Cézeaux, Aubière, France.


This paper is concerned with hormonal regulation of the developmental pattern of major proteins of the mouse vas deferens (mouse vas deferens protein: MVDP, 34.5 kD) and seminal vesicle (15.5, 120 and 140 kD) whose expression is regulated by testosterone at adulthood. The ontogeny of these proteins, studied by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, appeared to be uncoordinated. MVDP was not accumulated until animals were 20 days old and its concentration increased sharply from 20 to 30 days of age. In seminal vesicle, the 15.5 kD protein did not accumulate before day 30 whereas 120 and 140 kD proteins appeared and accumulated between 30 and 40 days. In 30-day-old mice castrated at birth or treated with cyproterone acetate over 29 days, MVDP levels were not abolished and were similar to those measured in 20-day-old males. Testosterone administration, from 1 to 10 days of age, did not induce precocious expression of MVDP. These results suggest that the neonatal expression of MVDP is independent of androgens. In seminal vesicle, the first expression of the 3 proteins studied was dependent upon testicular androgens as shown by neonatal castration and injection experiments. The marked increase in the levels of the 4 proteins studied, during sexual maturation, was not associated with quantitative or qualitative changes in tissular androgen concentrations, suggesting that other factors may be necessary for protein expression. Whereas thyroxine may induce a precocious accumulation of MVDP, prolactin had no stimulatory effect on the accumulation of proteins from vas deferens and seminal vesicle. The results suggest that during sexual maturation gene activation by androgens was progressive.

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