Chlorinated biphenyls effect on estrogen-related receptor expression, steroid secretion, mitochondria ultrastructure but not on mitochondrial membrane potential in Leydig cells
To characterize polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) action on Leydig cells, PCBs congeners, low-chlorinated (delor 103; d103) and high-chlorinated ones (delor 106; d106) were selected. The cells were treated according to PCBs dose (d103 or d106 0.2 ng/ml in low doses:, or 2 ng/ml in high doses) and type (d103 + d106 in low doses or 103 + 106 in high doses). After 24 h treatment with PCBs, a distinct increase in estrogen-related receptors (ERRs type α, β and γ) expression was revealed. However, the dose- and type-dependent PCBs effect was mostly exerted on ERRα expression. A similar increase in ERRs expression was demonstrated by estradiol but not testosterone, which was without an effect on ERRs. PCBs caused no decrease in the membrane potential status of Leydig cells (either in dose or type schedule) but had severe effects on the mitochondria number and structure. Moreover, PCBs markedly increased calcium (Ca2+) concentration and sex steroid secretion (both androgens and estrogens were elevated). These findings suggest a similar estrogenic action of PCBs congeners (d103 and d106) on Leydig cell function. We report dose- and type-specific effects of PCBs only on Leydig cell ERRs expression. Both delors showed common effects on the mitochondria ultrastructural and functional status. Based on our results, ERRα seems to be the most sensitive to hormonal modulation. The increases in Ca2+ and sex steroid secretion may be due to the activation of ERRs by PCBs binding and/or direct effect of PCBs on ERRs mRNA/protein expression. Nevertheless, to confirm the existence of possible relationships between ERRs signaling (including PCBs as ligands) and mitochondria function in Leydig cells, further intensive studies are needed.