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Paola Rossi, Soledad; Walenta, Lena; Rey-Ares, Veronica; Köhn, Frank-Michael; Schwarzer, J. Ullrich; Welter, Harald; Saul Calandra, Ricardo; Beatriz Frungieri, Monica; Mayerhofer, Artur (2018): Alpha 1 adrenergic receptor-mediated inflammatory responses in human testicular peritubular cells. In: Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, Vol. 474: pp. 1-9
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Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and is linked to impaired fertility in man. We hypothesized that catecholamines by acting on testicular cells have a role in these events, possibly by fostering an inflammatory environment. The cells of the wall of seminiferous tubules, human testicular peritubular cells (HTPCs), express adrenergic receptors (ADRs) alpha 1B, alpha 1D, beta 1 and beta 2. A selective alpha 1-ADR agonist, phenylephrine, increased intracellular Ca2+-levels in cultured HTPCs and induced COX-2, IL-1 beta and MCP-1 mRNA expression without affecting IL-1 beta mRNA. These changes were paralleled by a significant increase in the secretion of IL-6 and MCP-1. Epinephrine was also effective, but salbutamol, a selective beta 2-ADR agonist was not. Our results suggest that stress-associated elevation of catecholamines may be able to promote inflammatory events by targeting peritubular cells in the human testis. Blockage of alpha 1-ADRs may therefore be a novel way to interfere with stress-related impairment of male reproductive functions.