Relevance of the Tissue Prorenin-Renin-Angiotensin System to Male Reproductive Physiology
Scientific concern in studies on male reproduction has been mostly centered on understanding the complex regulation of androgen production, spermatogenesis and the maturation of sperm. Each of these areas has been extensively reviewed by Huhtaniemi and Toppari, Weinbauer and Nieschlag, Jegou and Pinau and by Cooper elsewhere in this volume. In these processes, the cardinal role played by the hypophyseal gonadotropins remains indisputable. At the same time, however, the importance of various locally active autocrine and/or paracrine regulatory factors can not be overlooked. While the list of such factors keeps on growing forever, tissue prorenin-renin-angiotensin system (PRAS) has received considerable attention in this respect during the recent years. In the search for a role of PRAS in reproduction, most of the scientific attention so far has been focused on its role in the regulation of ovarian function. This becomes obvious from the number of major reviews that have been published so far in this area and the most recent ones include those by Pepperell et al. (1993) and Nielsen et al. (elsewhere in this volume). Supported by a large number of scientific contributions from several laboratories worldwide, ovarian PRAS has become established as an important component of intraovarian regulatory mechanisms. The involvement of PRAS in the regulation of follicular atresia (Mukhopadhyay et al., 1991) and the process of ovulation (Andrade-Gordon et al., 1991) appears to be certain although mechanistic aspects remain to be clarified (Mukhopadhyay, 1994). In contrast, the role of PRAS in male reproduction has attracted relatively less attention, although the presence of renin was demonstrated in the testis long before it was shown in the ovary (see below).
KeywordsAngiotensin Converting Enzyme Leydig Cell Seminal Fluid Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Activity Renin Gene
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