Role and mechanism of AMH in the regulation of Sertoli cells in mice

Zia ur Rehman, Tesfaye Worku, John S. Davis, Hira Sajjad Talpur, Dinesh Bhattarai, Ishwari Kadariya, Guohua Hua, Jing Cao, Rahim Dad, Farmanullah, Tarique Hussain, Liguo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Sertoli cells produce anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), a glycoprotein belonging to the transforming growth factor-beta family. AMH mediates the regression of Müllerian ducts in the developing male fetus. However, the role of AMH in the regulation of primary Sertoli cells remains unclear. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of AMH on the viability and proliferation of Sertoli cells, with an additional focus on stem cell factor (SCF). Treatment of Sertoli cells with increasing concentrations of rh-AMH (0, 10, 50, 100, and 800 ng/ml) for two days revealed that AMH, at high concentrations, increased apoptosis. These results were confirmed by a significant increase in Caspase-3 and Bax and a decrease in Bcl-2 protein and mRNA expression (P < 0.01). Paradoxically, treatment with a low concentration of rh-AMH (10 ng/ml), but not higher concentrations (50–800 ng/ml), promoted Sertoli cell proliferation, which was verified by an increase in PCNA mRNA (P < 0.05). Furthermore, only low concentrations of rh-AMH activated the non-canonical ERK signaling pathway. Similarly, low concentrations of rh-AMH (10–50 ng/ml) significantly increased (P < 0.05) SCF mRNA and SCF protein levels. These findings indicate that AMH differentially regulates the fate of Sertoli cells in vitro by promoting proliferation at low concentrations and apoptosis at high concentrations. In addition, AMH increased the expression of SCF, an important regulator of Sertoli cell development. Therefore, AMH may play a role in Sertoli cell development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Amh
  • Apoptosis
  • Proliferation
  • Sertoli cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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