Effect of systemic and topical application of testosterone propionate on the density of epidermal langerhans cells in the mouse

Yoh ichi Koyama, Shizuko Nagao, Koji Ohashi, Hisahide Takahashi, Tohru Marunouchi

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Epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs) are bone marrow-derived immune cells in the epidermis. Recently, we reported that adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase)-positive LC density in the hind-limb skin of male mice was lower than that of female and that orchiectomy resulted in an increase in LC density, though ovariectomy had no significant effect. To further investigate the control mechanisms of sex differences in LC density, the effect of systemic and topical application of testosterone propionate (TP) on LC density was examined in C57BL/6 mice. Subcutaneous injections of TP 5.8 × 10-8 mol (20 μg)/day/mouse for 14 d resulted in a significant decrease in LC density both in orchiectomized males and normal females, and such an effect was also observed in adrenalectomized mice, suggesting that this effect of TP is not indirectly mediated by glucocorticosteroids. TP was also effective when applied as an ointment (1% or 5%) to the right hind-limb skin of both orchiectomized males and normal females for 14 d; namely, the LC density of the right hindlimb was lower than that of the left. Beta-estradiol and progesterone 5.8 × 10-8 mol/day/mouse had no significant effect on LC density when systemically applied for 14 d to normal males and females. These results suggest that sex differences in LC density may result from higher concentrations of testosterone or its metabolites in males, and that the function of testosterone may be local.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-90
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-1989


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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