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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1990 Oct 1;73(1):45-52.

Stage- and cell-specific expression of the ornithine decarboxylase gene during rat and mouse spermatogenesis.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Turku, Finland.


Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is an enzyme that has been shown to be induced in the growth, differentiation and proliferation of cells. We have used a cDNA probe to determine ODC mRNA levels in different stages of the cycle of rat and mouse seminiferous epithelium. For Northern and slot-blot hybridizations, RNA was isolated from microdissected staged seminiferous tubules. Cell-specific localization of ODC mRNA was studied by in situ hybridization. In the rat, in situ hybridization showed increasing mRNA levels during prophase of meiosis with the highest mRNA levels seen in late pachytene spermatocytes and step 3-5 spermatids. In the mouse, the mRNA levels increased in a similar fashion and the highest mRNA levels were found in step 1-8 spermatids. In the rat, Northern blot hybridizations revealed three molecular sizes of ODC mRNA: 2.2, 2.7 and 1.6 kb. The levels of all molecular sizes were highest in stages VII-VIII, and the lowest mRNA levels were seen in stage I of the seminiferous epithelial cycle. The level of the 2.2 kb transcript was low during stages XIII-I. In the mouse, the Northern blot hybridizations also showed three molecular sizes of ODC mRNA: 2.2 and 2.7 kb and very low levels of 1.6 kb transcript. The levels of the transcripts were steady throughout the cycle. In the mouse, the 2.2 kb transcript was more abundant than the 2.7 kb transcript indicating a species difference between rat and mouse in the usage of the two polyadenylation signals within the ODC gene.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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