The chromatoid body (CB) is a male reproductive cell-specific organelle that appears in spermatocytes and spermatids. The cytoplasmic granule corresponding to the CB was first discovered some 130 years ago by von Brunn in 1876. Thirty years later the German term “chromatoide Körper” (chromatoid body) was introduced to describe this granule and is still used today. In this review, first, the results obtained by light microscopic studies on the CB for the first 60 years are examined. Next, many findings revealed by electron microscopic studies are reviewed. Finally, recent molecular cell biological studies concerning the CB are discussed. The conclusion obtained by exploring the papers on CB published during the past 130 years is that many of the modern molecular cell biological studies are undoubtedly based on information accumulated by vast amounts of early studies.
Functional maturation of the small intestine occurs during the weaning period in rats. It is known that this development is facilitated by glucocorticoid. However, the effect of glucocorticoid on morphological development of small intestine has yet to be clarified. The present study evaluated the morphological development and cell proliferation of the small intestine in adrenalectomized (ADX) rat pups. To further understand the mechanism of glucocorticoid effects on intestinal development, we examined the localization of the glucocorticoid receptor in the small intestine. Microscopic analysis showed that growth of villi and crypts is age-dependent, and is significantly attenuated in ADX rats compared with sham-operated rats. BrdU-positive cells, i.e. proliferating cells, were primarily observed in crypt compartments and rapidly increased in number during the early weaning period. The increase in BrdU-positive cells could be attenuated by adrenalectomy. The morphological development of small intestine may be associated with increased proliferation of epithelial cells. On the other hand, glucocorticoid receptors were found in epithelial cells of the mid- and lower villi and not in crypts where BrdU-positive cells were localized. These results indicate that the growth of small intestine is attenuated by adrenalectomy, and that glucocorticoid indirectly acts on proliferation of epithelial cells during the weaning period.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress-related mental disorder caused by traumatic experience. Single-prolonged stress (SPS) is one of the animal models proposed for PTSD. Rats exposed to SPS showed enhanced inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which has been reliably reproduced in patients with PTSD. Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the hippocampus regulate HPA axis by glucocorticoid negative feedback. Abnormalities in negative feedback are found in PTSD, suggesting that GR and MR might be involved in the pathophysiology of these disorders. In the present study, we performed immunohistochemistry and western blotting to examine the changes in hippocampal MR- and GR-expression after SPS. Immunohistochemistry revealed decreased MR- and GR-immunoreactivity (ir) in the CA1 of hippocampus in SPS animals. Change in GR sub-distribution was also observed, where GR-ir was shifted from nucleus to cytoplasm in SPS rats. Western blotting showed that SPS induced significantly decreased MR- and GR-protein in the whole hippocampus, although the degree of decreased expression of both receptors was different. Meanwhile, we also found the MR/GR ratio decreased in SPS rats. In general, SPS induced down-regulation of MR- and GR-expression. These findings suggest that MR and GR play critical roles in affecting hippocampal function. Changes in MR/GR ratio may be relevant for behavioral syndrome in PTSD.
Age-related atresia of ovarian follicles is characterized by apoptosis of the constituent cells. Recent studies have indicated that dysfunction of the proteasome and endoplasmic reticulum and subsequent apoptosis in the presence of oxidative stress have relevance to aging. The aim of this study was to assess the involvement of these processes in age-related follicular atresia. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of ovaries obtained at surgery from 74 women (age: 21–54 y) were examined with the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated, dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) method and an immunohistochemical technique. Primary antibodies used in immunohistochemistry were against pentosidine, ubiquitin and caspase 12. Histological localization of these substances in oocytes was observed by light microscopy, and labeling indices of these cells were evaluated by regression analysis. Positive signals for pentosidine, ubiquitin, caspase 12, and TUNEL were detectable in oocytes of the primordial, primary and their atretic follicles. Regression analysis revealed an age-related increase in the labeling indices for pentosidine, ubiquitin, caspase 12, and TUNEL. These results suggest that pentosidine accumulation in human oocytes is related to apoptosis and increases with age. Further studies will be necessary to clarify the involvement of pentosidine accumulation, proteasome inhibition, and endoplasmic reticulum stress in age-related apoptosis of oocytes in human ovaries.
The γ subunit (FXYD2) of Na,K-ATPase is an important regulator of the sodium pump. In this investigation we have analysed the trafficking of γ to the plasma membrane in cultures of inner medullary collecting duct cells (IMCD3) following acute hypertonic challenge and brefeldin A (BFA) treatment. Following hypertonic challenging for 24 hr immunofluorescence labeling revealed initial co-localization of the γ subunit and 58K Golgi protein in the cytoplasm, but no co-localization of α1 and Golgi protein. Exposure of the challenged cells to BFA prevented the subsequent incorporation of γ into the basolateral plasma membrane. The γ subunit instead remained in cytoplasmic vesicles while cell proliferation and cell viability decreased simultaneously. Following removal of BFA from the hypertonic medium the IMCD3 cells recovered with distinct expression of γ in the basolateral membrane. The α1 subunit was only marginally influenced by BFA. The results demonstrate that the γ subunit trafficks to the plasma membrane via the Golgi apparatus, despite the absence of a signal sequence. The results also suggest that the γ and α subunits do not traffic together to the plasma membrane, and that the γ and α subunit have different turnover rates during these experimental conditions.