Connexin43 (Cx43) is abundantly expressed in mammalian testes and implicated in the regulation of cell-to-cell interaction between germ cells and Sertoli cells, which is essential to the normal process of spermatogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the relation between Cx43 expression and the degree of spermatogenesis in infertile human testes. Immunohistochemical analysis of Cx43 was performed on testicular biopsies from 29 patients with azoospermia (n=23) and severe oligospermia (n=6), who gave informed consent to this experiment. The degree of testicular spermatogenesis was evaluated by Johnsen score. In the interstitium, immunostaining for Cx43 was localized to some focal parts of plasma membrane between neighboring Leydig cells. In seminiferous tubules with normal spermatogenesis, Cx43 expression was found between Sertoli cells and germ cells. However, Cx43 expression in maturation arrest was decreased and located mainly in the basal compartment of seminiferous tubules. Finally, there was a significant positive correlation between histological score of spermatogenesis and intensity of Cx43 (p=0.0294). These data suggest that the alteration of Cx43 expression may be involved in spermatogenic impairment, and that the communication between Sertoli cells and germ cells through Cx43 may be important for maturation of spermatogenesis.
The aim of this study was to investigate the immunolocalization and the existence of thyroid hormone receptors (THR) (alpha1/alpha2) in rat uterus and oviduct. For this purpose 6 female Wistar albino rats found in estrous period were used. Tissue samples fixed in 10% neutral formalin were examined immunohistochemically. Sections were incubated with primary mouse-monoclonal THR (alpha1/alpha2) antibody. In uterus, THR (alpha1/alpha2) immunoreacted strongly with uterine luminal epithelium, endometrial gland epithelium and endometrial stromal cells and, moderately with myometrial smooth muscle. In oviduct, they were observed moderately in the epithelium of the tube and the smooth muscle cells of the muscular layer. In conclusion, the presence of THR in uterus and oviduct suggests that these organs are an active site of thyroid hormones.
From the perspective of comparative morphology, the distribution of non-monoaminergic neurons in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) was investigated using an immunohistochemical method with specific antibodies to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and aromatic-L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). TH-immunoreactive (IR) neurons (but not AADC-IR) neurons were observed in the olfactory tubercle, preoptic suprachiasmatic nucleus, periventricular hypothalamic nucleus, arcuate nucleus, paraventricular nucleus, periaqueductal gray matter, medial longitudinal fasciculus, substantia nigra, and nucleus solitaris. In contrast, AADC-IR (but not TH-IR), small, oval and spindle-shaped neurons were sparsely distributed in the following areas: the hypothalamus from the anterior nucleus to the lateral nucleus, the dorsomedial nucleus, the dorsomedial area of the medial mammillary nucleus and the arcuate nucleus; the midbrain, including the stria medullaris and substantia nigra; and the medulla oblongata, including the dorsal area of the nucleus solitaris and the medullary reticular nucleus. The distribution of AADC-IR neurons was not as extensive in the marmoset as it is in rats. However, these neurons were located in the marmoset, but not the rat substantia nigra. Furthermore, AADC-IR neurons that are present in the human striatum were absent in that of the marmoset. The present results indicate that the distribution of non-monoaminergic neurons in the brain of the common marmoset is unique and different from that in humans and rodents.
Signaling of nerve growth factor (NGF) and its receptor (TrkA) promotes neuronal differentiation, synapse formation and survival. It has been known that the complex of NGF and TrkA is internalized into the cytoplasm and transported for further signal transduction, but the ultrastructural information of this process is virtually unknown. In order to clarify the relationship between the internalization of TrkA and the membrane-associated proteins (caveolin and clathrin), the localization and three-dimensional structures of those proteins were examined with computer tomography of high voltage electron microscopy in PC12 cells. TrkA immunoreactivity was found only at definite areas in the plasma membrane, as ring and cluster structures. Its 3D image indicated that those cluster structures contained small pits, which did not appear to be typical caveolae in size and shape. 3D images of clathrin and caveolin-1 immunoreactivities indicated that the formation of those small pits was associated with clathrin, but not with caveolin-1. Caveolin-1 immunoreactivity was found as a mesh-like structure just beneath the plasma membrane. These results suggest that clathrin rather than caveolin is mainly involved in the process of TrkA internalization, at least in differentiated PC12 cells.