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Cells 2018, 7(10), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7100153

Estrogen Modulates Glycerol Permeability in Sertoli Cells through Downregulation of Aquaporin-9

1
Department of Microscopy, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS) and Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine (UMIB), University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
2
Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70125 Bari, Italy
3
Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
4
Department of Biochemistry and Human Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
5
Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
6
i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, University of Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins)
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Abstract

High 17β-Estradiol (E2) levels are known to cause alterations of spermatogenesis and environments throughout the male reproductive tract. Sertoli cells (SCs) ensure an adequate environment inside the seminiferous tubule. Glycerol stands as essential for the maintenance of blood–testis barrier created by SCs, however, the role of E2 in this process is not known. Herein, we hypothesized that the effect of E2 on glycerol permeability in mouse SCs (mSCs) could be mediated by aquaglyceroporins. The expression of aquaglyceroporins was assessed by RT-PCR and qRT-PCR. Glycerol permeability was evaluated by stopped-flow light scattering. We were able to identify the expression of AQP3 and AQP9 in mSCs where AQP9 is more abundant than AQP3. Our results show that high E2 levels decrease AQP9 mRNA abundance with no influence on AQP3 in mSCs. Interestingly, high E2 levels decreased mSCs’ permeability to glycerol, while downregulating AQP9 expression, thus suggesting a novel mechanism by which E2 modulates fluid secretion in the testis. In conclusion, E2 is an important regulator of mSCs physiology and secretion through changes in AQP9 expression and function. Thus, alterations in glycerol permeability induced by E2 may be the cause for male infertility in cases associated with the presence of high E2 levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquaglyceroporins; AQP9; estrogens; glycerol; male infertility; Sertoli cells aquaglyceroporins; AQP9; estrogens; glycerol; male infertility; Sertoli cells
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Bernardino, R.L.; Carrageta, D.F.; Silva, A.M.; Calamita, G.; Alves, M.G.; Soveral, G.; Oliveira, P.F. Estrogen Modulates Glycerol Permeability in Sertoli Cells through Downregulation of Aquaporin-9. Cells 2018, 7, 153.

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