Vitamin D is a key factor for calcium and bone homeostasis, but signalling through the vitamin D receptor (VDR) seems also to be important for testicular function. To test the functional role of vitamin D signalling we examined the male reproductive system of the Leuven Vdr-ablated (Vdr(-/-)) mice, previously established as a model for hereditary vitamin D-resistant rickets. We investigated reproductive hormones, changes in gene expression and histological phenotype of eleven Vdr(-/-), eight Vdr(+/-) and nine Vdr(+/+) mice. Testicular and epididymal histology were grossly normal in Vdr(-/-) mice. Accordingly, no differences were found in serum concentrations of testosterone, estradiol, LH, and FSH or testicular expression of Cyp19a1, Ersα, Cyp17a1, Star, Insl3, Inhbb, and Amh. However, a significantly lower ERβ expression was found in testis of Vdr(+/-) and Vdr(-/-) mice, conversely epididymal expressions of ERα and the estrogen-target gene Aqp9 were higher. In conclusion, vitamin D seems dispensable for murine spermatogenesis and sex hormone production, but aberrant estrogen-signalling may elicit some of the VDR-mediated effects on male reproduction.
- Vitamin D
- Sex hormones
Blomberg Jensen, M., Lieben, L., Nielsen, J. E., Willems, A., Jørgensen, A., Juul, A., Toppari, J., Carmeliet, G., & Rajpert-De Meyts, E. (2013). Characterization of the testicular, epididymal and endocrine phenotypes in the Leuven Vdr-deficient mouse model: targeting estrogen signalling. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 377(1-2), 93-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2013.06.036