D-Aspartate stimulation of testosterone synthesis in rat Leydig cells

FEBS Lett. 1999 Feb 12;444(2-3):160-4. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(99)00045-9.


D-Aspartate increases human chorionic gonadotropin-induced testosterone production in purified rat Leydig cells. L-Aspartate, D-,L-glutamate or D-,L-asparagine could not substitute for D-aspartate and this effect was independent of glutamate receptor activation. Testosterone production was enhanced only in cells cultured with D-aspartate for more than 3 h. The increased production of testosterone was well correlated with the amounts of D-aspartate incorporated into the Leydig cells, and L-cysteine sulfinic acid, an inhibitor of D-aspartate uptake, suppressed both testosterone production and intracellular D-aspartate levels. D-Aspartate therefore is presumably taken up into cells to increase steroidogenesis. Intracellular D-aspartate probably acts on cholesterol translocation into the inner mitochondrial membrane, the rate-limiting process in steroidogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / pharmacology
  • Cysteine / analogs & derivatives
  • Cysteine / pharmacology
  • Leydig Cells / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Testis / metabolism*
  • Testosterone / biosynthesis*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Testosterone
  • Bucladesine
  • Cholesterol
  • Cysteine
  • cysteine sulfinic acid