Effects of recombinant human growth hormone on the onset of puberty, leydig cell differentiation, spermatogenesis and hypothalamic kiss1 expression in immature male rats

Kyoung Huh, Mi Jung Park, Yang Xu, Mi Jung Park, Myung Chan Gye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) has been used to treat short stature and rhGH-related syndromes. However, there are concerns that rhGH-treatment may cause precocious puberty. We investigated the effects of rhGH-treatment on the puberty onset, sexual maturation, androgen production, and hypothalamic gene expression in prepubertal male rats. Materials and Methods: Sprague-Dawley male rats were injected subcutaneously daily with 1 or 2 IU/kg/d rhGH or 0.1 mL saline from postnatal day (PND) 21 to 30. At PND 31 bodyweight, reproductive organs weight, preputial separation, testis histology, circulating testosterone, and expression of testicular steroidogenic pathway genes and hypothalamic Kiss1 were examined. Results: By day 4 of injection bodyweights of rhGH groups were significantly higher than those of controls. rhGH 2 IU group showed earlier preputial separation compared to the control group. At PND 31, the weights of testes, epididymides, seminal vesicles, prostates, and preputial glands of the 2 IU-rhGH group were significantly higher than control group. Serum testosterone levels of the 2 IU-rhGH group were significantly higher than control group. Testicular steroidogenic pathway gene Hsd17b3 and Nr5a1 mRNA and cell counts and areas of Leydig cells in rhGH groups were significantly higher than control group, suggesting functional differentiation of Leydig cells. Hypothalamic Kiss1 mRNA levels of the 1 IU-rhGH group were significantly lower than control group, suggesting negative feedback of Kiss1 by elevated testosterone. Conclusions: Prepubertal rhGH-treatment in male rats may induce early onset of puberty, sexual maturation, elevation of testosterone, and spermatogenesis, and accompanies downregulation of hypothalamic KISS1.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Men's Health
Volume38
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Growth hormone
  • Kisspeptin 1
  • Rats
  • Sexual maturation
  • Testosteron

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