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Lahr, G.; Mayerhofer, Artur; Seidl, K.; Bucher, S.; Grothe, C.; Knöchel, W.; Gratzl, Manfred (1992): Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in rodent testis. Presence of bFGF mRNA and of a 30 kDa bFGF protein in pachytene spermatocytes. In: FEBS Letters, Vol. 302: pp. 43-46


We have previously described a 30 kDa basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-like protein in rodent testicular homogenates and have shown that pachytene spermatocytes are the sites of predominant immunoreactivity for this bFGF-like protein (Mayerhofer, A., Russell, L.D., Grothe, C., Rudolf, M. and Gratzl, M. (1991) Endocrinology 129, 921–924). We have now addressed the question whether this 30 kDa bFGF-like protein is a large bFGF form and whether it is produced by pachytene spermatocytes. We detected bFGF mRNA in homogenates of isolated mouse spermatocytes (which consisted mainly of pachytene spermatocytes) using S1 nuclease protection assays. As shown by Western blot analyses, the bFGF mRNA in mouse spermatocytes is translated into bFGF of an approximate molecular weight of 30 kDa. Neither bFGF mRNA, nor bFGF itself, was observed in isolated mouse Leydig cells. These results indicate that the immunoreactive bFGF-like protein observed previously in germ cells of the murine testis is identical to bFGF. Thus, germ cells of the testis produce bFGF, which may exert regulatory function in the process of spermatogenesis.