Amphetamine influences plasma and testicular testosterone levels. However, there is no evidence that amphetamine can directly influence Leydig cell functions. In the present study, a MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cell line was used to determine whether and how amphetamine affected Leydig cell steroidogenesis. MA-10 cells were treated with different concentrations of amphetamine without or with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and/or enzyme precursors over different time durations. Steroid production, enzyme activities and StAR protein expression were determined. Amphetamine alone had no any effect on MA-10 cell steroidogenesis. However, amphetamine (10(-11)M and 10(-10)M) significantly enhanced hCG-treated progesterone production at 3 hr in MA-10 cells (p < 0.05). Furthermore, amphetamine significantly induced more progesterone production upon treatment with 22R-hydroxycholesterol (p < 0.05), a precursor of P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc). However, amphetamine did not induce more progesterone production when treated with pregnenolone (p > 0.05), a precursor of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. In addition, the expressions of StAR protein and P450scc enzyme were not significantly different between hCG alone and hCG plus amphetamine treatment in MA-10 cells (p > 0.05). These results suggested that amphetamine enhanced hCG-induced progesterone production in MA-10 cells by increasing P450scc activity without influencing StAR protein and P450scc enzyme expression or 3beta-HSD enzyme activity.