We have previously shown that
We have previously shown that the human gonadotropins hLH and hCG trigger a partly irreversible stimulation of intracellular cyclic AMP accumulation in mouse Leydig Tumor Ouabain (MLTC) in contrast to all other tested mammalian LHs and CG (Klett et al., 2016). In order to get a better insight in the molecular mechanism of this difference, we tested the effects of a large range of human and non-human mammalian LH and CG concentrations, on the cyclic AMP responsiveness of MLTC cells to forskolin (FSK).
The diterpene FSK is known as a direct stimulator of adenylate cyclase (AC) in many cell types (Dessauer et al., 2017). However, it stimulates only very weakly intracellular cyclic AMP accumulation in MLTC cells, even at high concentration (100 µM) as was previously observed in rat adult and porcine immature Leydig cells (Lejeune et al., 1998, Lin, 1983). In spite of its extremely low stimulatory activity alone in Leydig cells, FSK exhibits a synergic activity with hCG in various target cells but the possible synergy with other LH receptor ligands was not addressed. Because gonadotropins exist as numerous isoforms, we test in the present work, several preparations of each hormone to avoid to draw conclusions from only one form. When they are available, we also compare the effects of recombinant molecules with those of the natural hormones.
Materials and methods
Results We first studied the sensitivity of MLTC cells to forskolin. Fig. 1 shows the cyclic AMP response of MLTC cells to 10 µM FSK in the absence or presence of a sub-stimulating concentration of either hLH (0.7 ng/ml; 25 pM), hCG (0.5 ng/ml; 15 pM) or rat LH (2.5 ng/ml; 87 pM). Whilst 10 µM FSK alone did not promote any intracellular cyclic AMP accumulation, it did it strongly in the presence of sub-stimulating concentrations of any of the three gonadotropins used as well as with sub-stimulating concentrations of ovine, porcine, bovine and equine LH or equine CG (not shown). In order to confirm that the luminescence in the Glosensor assay is indeed representative of intracellular cyclic AMP concentration, we studied the synergy between sub-stimulating concentrations of hLH and FSK using the HTRF determination of intracellular cyclic AMP. These data (Fig. 1C) confirmed the absence of cyclic AMP accumulation in MLTC cells with 12.5 pM hLH or 10 µM FSK alone, but a strong effect when incubated together. Moreover, the kinetics obtained with the two techniques were consistent. Since FSK stimulated adenylate cyclase in MLTC-1 cells only in the presence of LHs or CGs even at sub-stimulating concentrations, we looked more closely at the concentration-dependence of this synergy. Fig. 2 shows the concentration-response effect of hLH and rat LH in the presence of 10 µM FSK, at concentrations where they were not stimulating alone (0.06–2 ng/ml; 2–70 pM). It is clear that non-stimulating concentrations when alone of FSK and hormones, promote a maximal response when incubated together with MLTC cells. In order to ascertain whether the simultaneous presence of gonadotropin and FSK was mandatory for MLTC-1 adenylate cyclase activation, we studied the AC responses to 10 µM FSK after preincubation of cells with hormones only. Fig. 3 shows that hLH at sub-stimulating concentration (70 pM), sensitized the cells to subsequent stimulation by 10 µM FSK (after elimination of the LH-containing medium used during preincubation). In contrast, pre-incubation with 10 µM FSK and its elimination before LH addition, did not lead to cyclic AMP accumulation indicating that LH alone elicit a long-term change permitting subsequent stimulation by FSK whereas the reverse is not observed. The concentration-dependence and time-dependence of the permissive effects of human LH and CG were then determined. Fig. 4 shows that 30 min-preincubation with sub-stimulating concentrations of hLH or hCG (2–70 pM) led to hormone concentration-dependent response of MLTC-1 cells to 10 µM FSK alone (after elimination of LH). In one additional experiment (not shown), the cells were washed three times after recombinant hLH preincubation, before adding new medium containing FSK. The data were similar confirming the almost irreversible binding of hLH. Fig. 5 shows that there is a time-dependent effect of a sub-stimulating concentrations of recombinant hLH (2 ng/ml; 70 pM) on the subsequent response of MLTC-1 cells to 10 µM FSK alone (after elimination of LH-containing medium used during preincubation).