The epididymis is a male genital organ that has plays various functions, including sperm concentration, maturation, and storage. The epididymal epithelium consists of principal cells, clear cells, and basal cells. To comprehensively understand the occurrence and morphological differentiation of basal cells, we examined the expression and localization of cytokeratins (CKs) in the epididymal epithelium during postnatal development of the mouse. Immunohistochemical staining showed that, in adult mice, CK5 and CK14 were exclusively expressed in the cytoplasm of basal cells. During postnatal development, basal cells that stained positive for CK5 and CK14 first appeared in immature columnar epithelial cells in mice aged 1 week. The immunoreactivity became progressively stronger in mice aged 2-3 weeks. In mice aged 3 weeks, the immunoreactivity was strong in regions IV and V. In mice aged ≥ 4 weeks, strong immunoreactivity was observed in all epididymal regions. CK5 and CK14 could be useful markers of differentiation in epididymal basal cells. These basal cells originate from immature columnar epithelial cells and are of two types—dome-shaped and flask-shaped—. The flask-shaped cells are mainly located in the initial segment of the mouse epididymis.
The prostate is an exocrine gland in the male reproductive tract that secretes seminal fluids. To gain insight into the cytochemical properties of prostatic epithelial cells, the characteristics of glycoconjugates in mouse prostate sections were examined by lectin histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Characteristic staining patterns were observed, depending on the type of lectins present in the epithelia. Luminal cells reacted specifically with mannose-binding lectins (Galanthus nivalis lectin, Hippeastrum hybrid lectin, Narcissus pseudonarcissus lectin) and Maclura pomifera lectin in all lobes of the prostate. Luminal cells also expressed galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (GalNAc), N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc), and fucose residues in the lateral and ventral lobes. Basal cells expressed GlcNAc and fucose, and reacted with Datura stramonium lectin and Aleuria aurantia lectin in all lobes. These results indicate that in the mouse prostate, the selectivity of lectin-binding sites for distinct cell types and lobe-dependent staining may relate to cellular and regional differences in function. Furthermore, some lectins selectively bound to prostatic epithelial cells, indicating their potential use as markers for the histopathological evaluation of prostatic diseases, cancer diagnosis, or male infertility.
An immunohistochemical analysis of the chemoarchitecture of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and glutamine synthetase (GS) was conducted in the monkey optic nerve. The optic nerve has been divided into 3 regions: the prelaminar, lamina cribrosa, and retrolaminar regions. However, it currently remains unclear whether the chemoarchitecture of GFAP and GS is homogeneously organized, especially in the retrolaminar region. Strong-to-moderate GFAP immunoreactivity was observed in all 3 regions. The retrolaminar region was further divided into anterior (RLa) and posterior (RLp) retrolaminar regions. More GFAP immunoreactive punctations were observed in the RLa region than in the RLp region. Regarding GS immunoreactivity, moderately GS immunoreactive glial cells were observed in the prelaminar and retrolaminar regions. In the retrolaminar region, there were more of these cells in the RLa region than in the RLp region. GS immunoreactivity was markedly weaker in the prelaminar and retrolaminar regions than in the retina. Thus, the chemoarchitecture of GFAP and GS was heterogeneously organized in the retrolaminar region, and the RLa region was the main GS distribution site in the retrolaminar region. Since GS is a key enzyme of glutamate metabolism, these results may provide clues as to how glutamate is metabolized in the primate optic nerve.