Evidence has been introduced linking the lipoxygenase products and steroidogenesis in Leydig cells, thereby supporting that this pathway may be a common event in the hormonal control of steroid synthesis. On the other hand, it has also been reported that lipoxygenase products of arachidonic acid (AA) may not be involved in Leydig cells steroidogenesis. In this paper, we investigated the effects of PLA2 and lipoxygenase pathway inhibitors on steroidogenesis in rat testis Leydig cells. The effects of two structurally unrelated PLA2 inhibitors (4-bromophenacyl bromide (BPB) and quinacrine) were determined. BPB blocked the LH- and Bt2cAMP-stimulated testosterone production but had no effect on 22(R)-OH-cholesterol conversion to testosterone. Quinacrine caused a dose-dependent inhibition of LH- and Bt2cAMP-induced steroidogenesis. The effects of different lipoxygenase pathway inhibitors (nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), 5,8,11,14- eicosatetraynoic acid (ETYA), caffeic acid and esculetin) have also been determined. Both NDGA and ETYA inhibited LH- and Bt2cAMP-stimulated steroid synthesis in a dose-related manner. Furthermore caffeic acid and esculetin also blocked the LH-stimulated testosterone production. Moreover, exogenous AA induced a dose-dependent increase of testosterone secretion which was inhibited by NDGA. Our results strongly support the previous concept that the lipoxygenase pathway is involved in the mechanism of action of LH on testis Leydig cells.
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