Molecular identity, expression and functional analysis of interleukin-1alpha and its isoforms in rat testis

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) is a proinflammatory cytokine that has also been found to act as a paracrine mediator involved in the regulation of testicular functions. The present review provides an overview of the role of IL-1alpha in testicular physiology. Bioactive IL-1alpha isolated from adult rat testis was found to consist of three distinct immunoreactive protein species with apparent sizes of 45, 24 and 19 kDa. These isoforms showed bioactivity in a thymocyte proliferation and steroidogenesis assays with different biopotencies. The background of the molecular heterogeneity and processing, secretion and regulation of the isoforms of testicular IL-1alpha are discussed. All three isoforms have been found to be secreted into the testis tubular lumen and interstitial space. We have provided evidence that IL-1alpha is a paracrine factor that may be of importance in, e.g., the regulation of Leydig cell steroidogenesis. Pathophysiologically, testicular IL-1alpha may contribute to testicular relapse of acute lymphocytic leukemia in boys.


Asian Journal of Andrology

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.