Expression of P-450 aromatase, estrogen receptor α and β, and α-inhibin in the fetal baboon testis after estrogen suppression during the second half of gestation

Endocrine. 2011 Feb;39(1):75-82. doi: 10.1007/s12020-010-9414-5.


Expression of the molecules that modulate the synthesis and action of estrogen in, or reflect function of, Sertoli cells was determined in the fetal testis of baboons in which estrogen levels were suppressed in the second half of gestation to determine whether this may account for the previously reported alteration in fetal testis germ cell development. P-450 aromatase, estrogen receptor (ER) β, and α-inhibin protein assessed by immunocytochemistry was abundantly expressed in Sertoli cells of the fetal baboon testis, but unaltered in baboons in which estrogen levels were suppressed by letrozole administration. Moreover, P-450 aromatase and ERα and β mRNA levels, assessed by real-time RT-PCR, were similar in germ/Sertoli cells and interstitial cells isolated from the fetal testis of untreated and letrozole-treated baboons. These results indicate that expression of the proteins that modulate the formation and action of estrogen in, and function of, Sertoli cells is not responsible for the changes in germ cell development in the fetal testis of estrogen-deprived baboons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aromatase / analysis
  • Aromatase / genetics*
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / analysis
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics*
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / analysis
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / genetics*
  • Estrogens / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gestational Age
  • Inhibins / analysis
  • Inhibins / genetics*
  • Letrozole
  • Male
  • Nitriles / pharmacology
  • Papio / embryology*
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sertoli Cells / chemistry
  • Sertoli Cells / physiology
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology
  • Testis / chemistry
  • Testis / embryology*
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Triazoles / pharmacology


  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Estrogens
  • Nitriles
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triazoles
  • inhibin-alpha subunit
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Inhibins
  • Letrozole
  • Aromatase