The expression and regulation of Class I and Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and Ly-6 antigens were examined in BALB/c testicular cells. Studies were performed utilizing differentiated murine Leydig (TM3) and Sertoli (TM4) cell lines. Neither Class I (Dd) nor Class II (IA/Ed) MHC antigens were detectable on untreated TM3 cells. However, concanavalin-A activated spleen cell supernatant (Con-A sup) or interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) treatment resulted in the marked induction of both Class I and Class II MHC antigens on virtually all of the Leydig cells. MHC Class II mRNA, which was not detected in resting cells, was clearly induced following IFN-γ incubation. Sertoli cells were found to constitutively express low levels of Class I (Dd) but not Class II (IA/Ed) antigens. However, in contrast to the enhanced MHC expression in TM3 cells, Con-A sup or IFN-γ treatment of TM4 cells resulted in marked augmentation of Class I, but not Class II, MHC antigens. Northern blot analysis failed to detect Class II mRNA in either the resting or IFN-γ treated TM4 populations. Neither ethanol nor tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alone, or together with IFN-γ had significant effects on MHC expression by TM3 and TM4 cells. Ly-6 antigens, predominantly expressed on hematopoietic cells, were found to be present on both TM3 and TM4 cells. Expression of the non-MHC encoded product was also shown to be markedly enhanced by IFN-γ treatment on both testicular cell lines. In total, these findings demonstrated that cytokines can differentially affect discrete cell populations arising from a particular tissue with respect to the un-regulation of MHC and non-MHC gene products. These findings are discussed in the context of autoimmune responses directed against this tissue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy