Martine Culty, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology 
Georgetown University Medical Center
NE207 Med-Dent Building, Box 571436
3900 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20057 
Phone: 202 687-8687
Fax: 202 687-1823

Research Interests

Regulation of testicular gonocyte development

Research Summary

The proper development of gonocytes is a prerequisite for the formation of an adequate population of spermatogonia and further spermatogenesis. Failure of gonocytes to mature normally may result in infertility or testicular tumors. My work is focused on determining what type of signal transduction molecules and pathways are involved in the proliferation of postnatal gonocytes. We developed a method to obtain purified gonocyte cultures, and found that both PDGF and estradiol stimulate gonocyte proliferation. My current objectives are: 1) Identify cellular elements of the PDGF-activated proliferation cascade, and possible interactions with the estradiol pathway; 2) examine the implications of environmental estrogen exposure on this early stage in male reproductive system development by studying the effects of xeno/phyto-estrogens on gonocytes and to determine the potential relation between alterations in early germ cell development and testis pathologies such as infertility and testicular cancer.

Representative Publications

  • Thuillier R, Wang Y, Culty M (2003) Prenatal exposure to estrogenic compounds alters the expression pattern of PDGF receptors a and b in neonatal RAT testis: Identification of gonocytes as targets of estrogen exposure. Biol Reprod., 68:867-880
  • Culty M, Luo L, Yao Z-X, Chen H, Papadopoulos V, Zirkin BR (2002) Cholesterol Transport, Peripheral Benzodiazepine Receptor, and Steroidogenesis in Aging Leydig Cells. J Andrology, 23:439-447
  • Culty M, Nakazato A, Gazouli M, Li H, Muramatsu M, Okuyama S, Papadopoulos V (2001) Peripheral benzodiazepine receptor binding properties and effects on steroid synthesis of two new phenoxyphenyl-acetamide derivatives, DAA1097 and DAA1106. Drug Development Research, 52:475-484.
  • Boujrad N, Vidic B, Gazouli M, Culty M, Papadopoulos V (2000) The peroxisome proliferator perfluorodecanoic acid inhibits the peripheral-type benzodiazepine Receptor (PBR) expression and hormone-stimulated mitochondrial cholesterol transport and steroid formation in Leydig cells. Endocrinology, 141:3137-3148
  • Li H, Papadopoulos V, Vidic B, Dym M, Culty M (1997) Regulation of rat testis gonocyte proliferation by PDGF and estradiol: Identification of signaling mechanisms involved. Endocrinology 138:1289-1298.
  • Culty M, Shizari M, Thompson EW, Underhill CB (1994) Binding and degradation of Hyaluronan by human breast cancer cell lines expressing different isoforms of CD44: correlation with the invasive potential. J Cell Physiol 160:275-286.