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J Androl. 2002 Nov-Dec;23(6):870-81.

Localization of androgen and estrogen receptors in adult male mouse reproductive tract.

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1
Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61802, USA.

Abstract

There is considerable variation, both within and between species, in reports of nuclear steroid receptor localizations in the male reproductive tract. In this study, androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptors ERalpha and ERbeta were visualized by immunohistochemistry in adult male mice reproductive tracts, including testes, efferent ductules; initial segment, caput, corpus, and cauda epididymides; and vas deferens. Antibody specificity was demonstrated by Western blot and antibody competition. In testis, AR was expressed in Leydig cells, Sertoli cells, and most peritubular cells, but not in germ cells; Sertoli cells showed more intense staining in stages VI-VII; ERalpha was present in Leydig and some peritubular cells; ERbeta was in Leydig, some peritubular, all Sertoli and germ cells except in spermatids and meiotic spermatocytes. In efferent ductules, AR was strongly expressed in ciliated and nonciliated epithelial cells and in stromal cells; ERalpha was strongly expressed in ciliated and nonciliated epithelial cells; stromal cells were negative; and ERbeta was strongly expressed in ciliated and nonciliated epithelial cells and also in stromal cells. In epididymis, AR was strongly expressed in all epithelial cells (not in intraepithelial lymphocytes); ERalpha was strongly expressed in apical, narrow, and some basal cells of the initial segment, and in caput, principal cells of the caput, clear cells of the distal caput through cauda; stromal cells were negative in the initial segment, but more stromal cells were stained from caput to cauda; ERbeta was strongly expressed in most of epithelial cells of the epididymis, but stromal cells were inconsistently stained. In vas deferens, AR was weakly expressed or absent in principal cells but moderately stained in basal cells, smooth muscle cells of stroma were stained intensely, ERalpha was absent in epithelial cells but present in a subepithelial smooth muscle layer, and ERbeta was strongly expressed in all epithelial cells and most stromal cells. This study demonstrates that the reproductive tracts of male mice differ considerably from those of rats in expression of ARs and ERs and that caution is needed when extrapolating nuclear steroid receptor data across mammalian species.

PMID:
12399534
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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