In the present study we examined the capacity of interleukin-1 (IL-1) α, β, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to induce transferrin secretion by Sertoli cells under in vitro conditions. Primary Sertoli cell (SC) cultures from immature mice secreted constitutively transferrin. Stimulation of these cultures with IL-1α, IL-1β significantly increas\d their capacity to secrete transferrin. Addition of IL-1ra to unstimulated SC cultures did not affect their capacity to secrete transferrin. Stimulation of SC cultures with a combination of both IL-1α and FSH or IL-1β and FSH showed additive effect between IL-1 and FSH in their capacity to induce transferrin secretion by these cells. However, stimulation of Sertoli cells with a combination of both IL-1ra and FSH did not affect their capacity to secrete transferrin compared with FSH-stimulated cultures.
Our results may suggest the involvement of testicular paracrine/autocrine factors (IL-1) and endocrine (FSH) factors in the regulation of transferrin secretion by SC. This capacity seems to be differently regulated by these factors.
Thus, IL-1α and β may directly affect physiological functions of the testis; which may suggest their involvement in the regulation of spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis processes and male fertility.