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Abstract

Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 2008) 10, 577–584; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2008.00357.x

Disruption of ectoplasmic specializations between Sertoli cells and maturing spermatids by anti-nectin-2 and anti-nectin-3 antibodies

Yoshiro Toyama, Fumie Suzuki-Toyota, Mamiko Maekawa, Chizuru Ito and Kiyotaka Toshimori

Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba 260-8670, Japan

Correspondence: Dr Yoshiro Toyama, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Fax: +81-43-226-2021. E-mail: ytoyama@faculty.chiba-u.jp

Received 29 June 2007; Accepted 17 September 2007.

Abstract

Aim: To understand the biological functions of the ectoplasmic specializations between Sertoli cells and maturing spermatids in seminiferous epithelia.

Methods: In order to disrupt the function of the ectoplasmic specializations, nectin-2, which is expressed at the specialization, was neutralized with anti-nectin-2 antibody micro-injected into the lumen of the mouse seminiferous tubule. Anti-nectin-3 antibody was also micro-injected into the lumen in order to neutralize nectin-3, which is expressed at the specialization.

Results: The actin filaments at the specialization disappeared, and exfoliation of maturing spermatids was observed by electron microscopy.

Conclusion: Nectin-2 was neutralized by anti-nectin-2 antibody and nectin-3 was neutralized by anti-nectin-3 antibody, respectively. Inactivated nectin-2 and nectin-3 disrupted the nectin-afadin-actin system, and finally the actin filaments disappeared. As a result, the specialization lost the holding function and detachment of spermatids was observed. One of the functions of the specialization seems to be to hold maturing spermatids until spermiation.

Keywords: ectoplasmic specialization, Sertoli cell, spermatogenic cell, testis, actin, nectin, mice

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