Involvement of D-aspartic acid in the synthesis of testosterone in rat testes

Antimo D'Aniello, Anna Di Cosmo, Carlo Di Cristo, Lucio Annunziato, Leonard Petrucelli, George Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations

Abstract

D-Aspartic acid (D-Asp) is an endogenous amino acid which occurs in many marine and terrestrial animals. In fetal and young rats, this amino acid occurs prevalently in nervous tissue, whereas at sexual maturity it occurs in endocrine glands and above all in pituitary and testes. Here, we have studied if a relationship exists between the presence of D-Asp and the hormonal activity. The following results were obtained: 1) Both D-Asp and testosterone are synthesized in rat testes in two periods of the animal's life: before birth, about the 17th day after fertilization and, after birth, at sexual maturity. 2) Immunocytochemical studies have demonstrated that this enantiomer is localized in Leydig and Sertoli cells. 3) In vivo experiments, consisting of i.p. injection of D-Asp to adult male rats, demonstrated that this amino acid accumulates in pituitary and testis (after 5 h, the accumulation was 12 and 4-fold over basal values, respectively); simultaneously, luteinizing hormone, testosterone and progesterone significantly increased in the blood (1.6-fold, p<0.05; 3.0-fold, p<0.01 and 2.9-fold, p<0.01, respectively). 4) Finally, in vitro experiments, consisting of the incubation of D-Asp with isolated testes also demonstrated that this amino acid induces the synthesis of testosterone. These results suggest that free D-Asp is involved in the steroidogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 1996

Keywords

  • D-aspartic acid
  • hormones
  • luteinizing hormone
  • steroidogenesis
  • testes
  • testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Involvement of D-aspartic acid in the synthesis of testosterone in rat testes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this