Volume 11 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 95-104
As is similar to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), the Yangjing Capsule (YC) extract could also lead to proliferation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) by stimulating the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) pathway; however, the regulatory effect of YC extract on the expression of POU3F1 still remains unknown. The objective of this study is to determine whether the transcription factor POU3F1 is up-regulated by YC extract through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway to regulate SSCs survival and proliferation. Cultured GC-1 spermatogonial (spg) cells were treated with 0.01, 0.1, and 1 mg/mL YC extract for 48 h. Cell viability was analyzed using MTT assay, while POU3F1 expression was quantitatively detected using real time-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. POU3F1, GDNF family receptor alpha1 (GFRα1) short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA), and LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor) were applied as blockers to explore the underlying pathway. After 48 h treatment with YC extract, GC-1 spg cells proliferated and POU3F1 expression was significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner. POU3F1 siRNA partially blocked those effects of YC extract. Both GFRα1 siRNA and LY294002, as upstream blockers, reduced POU3F1 expression induced by YC extract. The conclusion is that YC extract promotes proliferation of GC-1 spg cells via up-regulation of POU3F1. The potential mechanism is that YC extract triggers the activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway and then up-regulates POU3F1 expression.