RGD Reference Report - Interleukin-18 is expressed in rat testis and may promote germ cell growth. - Rat Genome Database

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Interleukin-18 is expressed in rat testis and may promote germ cell growth.

Authors: Strand, ML  Wahlgren, A  Svechnikov, K  Zetterstrom, C  Setchell, BP  Soder, O 
Citation: Strand ML, etal., Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2005 Aug 30;240(1-2):64-73.
RGD ID: 4889501
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:16002206
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1016/j.mce.2005.05.011

Although host-defence mechanisms, designed to preserve the integrity of the developing germ cells are operative in the testis, the components of this protective system have yet to be characterised in detail. Here, we report that the cytokine interleukin-18 (IL-18) is expressed in the rat testis and may contribute to these defences. Thus, analysis by RT-PCR and Western blotting revealed pronounced testicular expression of pro-IL-18 from postnatal day 5 and onwards. Expression of both IL-18 mRNA and protein was found to be localised to meiotic and post-meiotic germ cells as evaluated by in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The mRNA species coding for the IL-18 receptor and IL-1beta converting enzyme, which activates pro-IL-18, were also shown to be expressed by the seminiferous tubules. Recombinant IL-18 was seen to stimulate spermatogonial DNA synthesis in cultures of staged segments of rat seminiferous tubules, without influencing germ cell apoptosis. These results suggest that IL-18 may have host-protective and growth-promoting functions in the testis, but further investigations need to be done to confirm this.

Gene Ontology Annotations    

Biological Process

Cellular Component

Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Il18  (interleukin 18)

Additional Information