2010 Volume 47 Issue 4 Pages 326-332
The aim of present study was to determine whether the expression of transforming growth factor-βs (TGFβs) in the utero-vaginal junction (UVJ) of hen oviduct was changed by the stimulation with sperm. Localization of immunoreactive TGFβ3 (irTGFβ3) in the UVJ that contained sperm storage tubules (SST) were examined by immunocytochemistry with or without insemination. Changes in the mRNA expression of three types TGFβ isoforms (TGFβ2, β3 and β4) in the vagina or UVJ cells co-cultured with fresh chicken sperm were observed by real-time PCR. The irTGFβ3 were localized in the surface epithelia of UVJ of all the inseminated and non-inseminated birds. The immunoreaction products were not present in the SST cells of non-inseminated hens but were appeared in the SST at 1d of insemination, and showed positive staining even after 10 or 20d of insemination. The expression of three types TGFβs were significantly increased in the cultured UVJ cells after stimulation by fresh sperm, however, the vaginal cells that were co-incubated with sperm did not show any alteration of their expression for all three types of TGFβs. These results suggest that the interaction between sperm and SST cells may up-regulate TGFβs expression in the SST which may play significance role in the sperm survival in SST.