Interleukin-1β signals through a c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide production pathway in sertoli epithelial cells
Our recent Sertoli cell (SC) studies showed that the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and inducible cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathways are key regulatory components of IL (IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-6) expression and START-domain containing StARD1 and StARD5 proteins. IL-1β regulates SC autocrine/paracrine activities and subsequently influences developing germ cells and spermatogenesis. This study was designed to evaluate whether IL-1β mediates high-output inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and nitric oxide (NO) production in these specialized epithelial cells and characterize gonadotropin and cytokine-regulation of NO. Purified SCs were maintained in serum-free cultures and treated with FSH (100 ng-1 μg/ml) or IL-1β (10 ng/ml) in time-course studies. To determine obligatory intracellular pathways, treatments were conducted with or without activity inhibitors: COX-2 selective (NS-398, 10 μM) or JNK (SP600125, 10 μM) for 1, 3, 6, and 24 h. NOS mRNAs and proteins were evaluated by RT-PCR and Western analysis, respectively. NO and reactive oxygen species were measured by flow cytometry and ELISA. IL-1β transiently induces intracellular NO (30 min) but not reactive oxygen species. Subsequently, iNOS mRNA and protein expression (3-6 h) significantly increased after IL-1β but not FSH stimulation, and in time-dependent manner, markedly increased extracellular NO (24 h, 8-fold). No change in the constitutive endothelial NOS isoform was observed. Inhibition of JNK, but not COX-2, activity inhibits IL-1β-induced iNOS expression and NO production. Such findings suggest that intra- and extracellular NO within the tubule may alert SCs monitoring the microenvironment to an aberrant cytokine, triggering antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities to avoid disruption of spermatogenesis.
Ishikawa, Tomomoto and Patricia L. Morris. 2006. "Interleukin-1β signals through a c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide production pathway in Sertoli epithelial cells," Endocrinology 147(11): 5424–5430.