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Endocrinology. 1993 Jun;132(6):2593-600.

Expression of type II activin receptor genes in the male and female reproductive tissues of the rat.

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Population Council, New York, New York 10021.


In addition to the feedback regulation of pituitary FSH secretion, gonadal activins have been shown to modulate physiological functions in the reproductive tissues. These observations suggested that activins and the receptors for these peptides may be coexpressed in gonadal tissues. In this study, we have cloned cDNAs encoding two species of type II activin receptors (ActRII and ActRIIB) from rat testicular mRNA and have shown that the two rat activin receptors share 97% similarity in the nucleotide sequence with those reported in the mouse. Two species [6 and 3 kilobases (kb)] ActRII mRNA were identified in all reproductive tissues of adult male and female rats. The 6-kb ActRII mRNA was the abundant form in most of the reproductive tissues. In placenta, the 6- and 3-kb mRNA were present in equal intensity. Interestingly, the ratio of the expression of two species of ActRII mRNA in rat testis changed with age. The 6-kb mRNA was the predominant form in immature 15- and 20-day-old testis, while the 3-kb mRNA increased with age and became the major form in mature testis. In female rats, however, the 6-kb ActRII mRNA was the abundant species in all of the ovaries examined, including immature, normal cycling, and pregnant rats. One major 2.25-kb species of ActRIIB mRNA was identified in all of the reproductive organs examined. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the isolated ActRIIB cDNA clones revealed that ActRIIB2 was the major isoform found in rat testis. The levels of expression of ActRIIB gene in rat testis or ovary were not changed during development. We conclude that 1) both type II and IIB activin receptor genes are widely expressed in the male and female reproductive tissues; and 2) the expression of 6- and 3-kb ActRII mRNA is tissue dependent as well as age dependent in rat testis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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