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We previously found that platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) and 17beta-estradiol stimulate gonocyte proliferation in a dose-dependent, non-additive manner. In the present study, we report that gonocytes express RAF1, MAP2K1 and MAPK1/3. Inhibition of RAF1 and MAP2K1/2, but not phosphoinositide-3-kinase, blocked PDGF-induced proliferation. AG-370, an inhibitor of PDGF receptor kinase activity, suppressed not only PDGF-induced proliferation but also that induced by 17beta-estradiol. In addition, RAF1 and MAP2K1/2 inhibitors blocked 17beta-estradiol-activated proliferation. The estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182780 inhibited both the effects of 17beta-estradiol and PDGF. PDGF lost its stimulatory effect when steroid-depleted serum or no serum were used. Similarly, 17beta-estradiol did not induce gonocyte proliferation in the absence of PDGF. The xenoestrogens genistein, bisphenol A and DES, but not coumestrol, stimulated gonocyte proliferation in a dose-dependent and PDGF-dependent manners similarly to 17beta-estradiol. Their effects were blocked by ICI 182780, suggesting that they act via the estrogen receptor. AG-370 blocked genistein and bisphenol A effects, demonstrating their requirement of PDGF receptor activation in a manner similar to 17beta-estradiol. These results demonstrate the interdependence of PDGF and estrogen pathways in stimulating in vitro gonocyte proliferation, suggesting that this critical step in gonocyte development might be regulated in vivo by the coordinated action of PDGF and estrogen disrupt the crosstalk between the two pathways and potentially interfere with gonocyte development.
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