The neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has been shown to stimulate cyclic AMP accumulation in Leydig cells isolated from rat testis. The effect was dependent on time, temperature and cell concentration. At 15° half-maximal and maximal stimulation were observed at about 1 and 100 nM VIP, respectively. The interaction was specific since an order of potencies chicken VIP> rat VIP> secretin>glucagon and no effect of neurotensin and substance P were obtained. The efficiency of VIP was lower in pubertal rats and then increased in young-adult and adult animals. These results together with the known presence of VIP in the testis support the idea that VIP may be involved in the regulation and function of Leydig cells during development.

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