Acute stimulation of aromatization in Leydig cells by human chorionic gonadotropin in vitro

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Sep;76(9):4460-3. doi: 10.1073/pnas.76.9.4460.


Aromatization of testosterone in Leydig cells purified from mature rat testes was assessed. Leydig cells incubated for 4 hr with increasing concentrations of [3H]testosterone. At saturating concentrations of testosterone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) acutely stimulated aromatization. This stimulation was first observed at 1 hr, an 8-fold increase being found during a 4-hr incubation. The maximal amount of estradiol produced at saturating concentrations of testosterone and hCG was 1.8 ng per 10(6) cells. These results demonstrate that purified Leydig cells have a high capacity for aromatization and that hCG can acutely stimulate aromatization independently of stimulating testosterone synthesis in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aromatase / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / pharmacology*
  • Estradiol / biosynthesis*
  • Leydig Cells / drug effects
  • Leydig Cells / enzymology
  • Leydig Cells / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Aromatase