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To clarify the causes of breed differences in serum testosterone levels of male pigs, which affect the mRNA expression of drug metabolizing enzymes and drug transporters in the liver and kidney, we focused on testicular enzymes and proteins involved in testosterone biosynthesis process and comparatively examined their mRNA levels by real time RT-PCR among low serum testosterone-type Landrace pigs and high serum testosterone-type Meishan and Landrace/Meishan-crossbreed (LM and ML) pigs. Testicular mRNA levels of the enzymes (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 1 and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase) and proteins (low density lipoprotein receptor and scavenger receptor class B member 1) affecting intracellular levels of cholesterol, a precursor of testosterone, were 2-5-fold higher in Meishan, LM and ML pigs than in Landrace pigs. Likewise, the mRNA levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, which imports cholesterol to the inner mitochondrial membrane, and of testosterone biosynthesis enzymes (CYP11A1 and CYP17A1) were over 10-fold and approximately 3-fold higher, respectively, in Meishan, LM and ML pigs than in Landrace pigs. Furthermore, positive correlations between those mRNA levels and serum testosterone levels were observed. Despite large breed differences in testicular mRNA levels described above, no significant breed differences in intratesticular testosterone levels were observed. The present findings strongly suggest that breed differences in serum testosterone levels of male pigs are probably, at least in part, caused by differences in testicular mRNA levels of enzymes and proteins involved in testosterone biosynthesis process and by differences in the levels of testosterone released from testes.

Citation

Misaki Kojima, Jun-Ichi Suto, Masakuni Degawa. Breed Differences in Serum Testosterone Levels of Male Pigs Are Highly Correlated with Differences in Testicular mRNA Levels of Enzymes and Proteins Involved in Testosterone Biosynthesis Process. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin. 2024;47(2):383-388

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PMID: 38325826

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