2011 Volume 48 Issue 4 Pages 275-280
The aim of this study was to investigate the innate immune system in male chicken reproductive organs by analyzing the expression of avian beta-defensins (avBDs) genes and localizing the avBDs proteins. The expression of avBDs were analysed by RT-PCR and selected avBDs proteins, including avBD-11 and -12, were localized by immunohistochemistry in the testis and epidihymis. The RT-PCR analysis showed the expression of 9 types of avBDs (avBD-3 to-5, -7 and -9 to -13) in the testis. In the epididymis, expression of 10 types of avBDs (avBD-1 to -5, -7 and -9 to -12) were identified. In the testis, the immu-noreaction products for immunoreactive (ir)-avBD-11 were found in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. In the epididymis, the epithelial cells of efferent ducts contained dense ir-avBD-11 and ir-avBD-12. The immunoreaction products of these avBDs were negligible in the epithelium of epididymal ducts. These results suggest that the testis and epididymis are able to syn-thesize avBDs to form innate immune system in chickens. It may play significant roles in the host defense against patho-gens in these tissues.