D-Aspartate stimulation of testosterone synthesis in rat Leydig cells

Yoshiko Nagata, Hiroshi Homma, Jen Ai Lee, Kazuhiro Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


D-Aspartate increases human chorionic gonadotropin-induced testosterone production in purified rat Leydig cells. L-Aspartate, D-L-glutamate or D-,L-asparagine could not substitute for D-aspartate and this effect was independent of glutamate receptor activation. Testosterone production was enhanced only in cells cultured with D-aspartate for more than 3 h. The increased production of testosterone was well correlated with the amounts of d-aspartate incorporated into the Leydig cells, and L-cysteine sulfinic acid, an inhibitor of D-aspartate uptake, suppressed both testosterone production and intracellular D-aspartate levels. d-Aspartate therefore is presumably taken up into cells to increase steroidogenesis. Intracellular D-aspartate probably acts on cholesterol translocation into the inner mitochondrial membrane, the rate-limiting process in steroidogenesis. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-164
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 12 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • D-Aspartate
  • Glutamate transporter
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin
  • Leydig cell
  • Steroidogenesis
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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