Project description:Caput epididymides biopsies from 4 patients suffering from non-obstructive azoospermia and from 4 patients with active spermatogenesis were compared. 414 genes in the caput epididymides were differentially regulated in infertile men by at least a 2-fold change as compared to the fertile men. Keywords: Comparison of infertile and fertile caput epididymides Overall design: Comparative caput epididymal gene expression from 4 patients with either active spermatogenesis (reference samples) or non-obstructive azoospermia. On each array, infertile tissue were compared to fertile tissue. Whenever the fertile tissues were labeled with cyanine 5 (see samples entitled "Patients 1 and 2" and "Patients 7 and 8"), the fluorescence ratios were swapped. Data was normalized using a locally weighted regression Lowess method and genes were considered differentially expressed in infertile sample versus fertile sample if there was at least a 2-fold change in 3 patients out of 4.
Project description:Caput epididymides biopsies from 4 patients suffering from non-obstructive azoospermia and from 4 patients with active spermatogenesis were compared. 414 genes in the caput epididymides were differentially regulated in infertile men by at least a 2-fold change as compared to the fertile men. Experiment Overall Design: Comparative caput epididymal gene expression from 4 patients with either active spermatogenesis (reference samples) or non-obstructive azoospermia. On each array, infertile tissue were compared to fertile tissue. Whenever the fertile tissues were labeled with cyanine 5 (see samples entitled "Patients 1 and 2" and "Patients 7 and 8"), the fluorescence ratios were swapped. Data was normalized using a locally weighted regression Lowess method and genes were considered differentially expressed in infertile sample versus fertile sample if there was at least a 2-fold change in 3 patients out of 4.
Project description:The hypothesis that male michrochimerism in eutopic endometrium is a factor for endometriosis, as indicated by indirect evidence was examined in endometrial samples from control (Group 1) and stage IV ovarian endometriosis (Group 2), either fertile (Group 1A and 2A) or Infertile (Group 1B and 2B) pateints. 6 coding and 10 non-coding genes showed bi-modal pattern of expression characterised by low expression in samples obtained from fertile patients and high expressions in infertile patients. Several coding and non-coding MSY-linked genes displayed michrochimerism in form of presence of their respective DNA inserts along with their microarray-detectable expression in endometrium irrespective of fertility history and disease. Overall design: Whole genome expression arrays of endometrial total RNA obtained from endometrium of women without endometriosis (Group 1) and with stage IV ovarian endometriosis (Group 2), either fertile (Group 1A and 2A) or Infertile (Group 1B and 2B).
Project description:The immotile testicular mammalian spermatozoon gets transformed into a motile spermatozoon during 'epididymal maturation'. During this process, the spermatozoa transit from the caput to the cauda epididymis and undergo a number of distinct morphological, biophysical and biochemical changes, including changes in protein composition and protein modifications, which may be relevant to the acquisition of motility potential. The present proteome-based study of the hamster epididymal spermatozoa of caput and cauda led to the identification of 113 proteins spots using Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS/MS) analysis. Comparison of these 113 protein spots indicated that 30 protein spots (corresponding to 20 proteins) were significantly changed in intensity. Five proteins were increased and eleven were decreased in intensity in the cauda epididymal spermatozoa. In addition, two proteins, glucose-regulated protein precursor (GRP78) and tumor rejection antigen (GP96), were unique to the caput epididymal spermatozoa, while one protein, fibrinogen-like protein 1, was unique to cauda epididymal spermatozoa. A few of the five proteins, which increased in intensity, were related to sperm metabolism and ATP production during epididymal maturation. The changes in intensity of a few proteins such as ERp57, GRP78, GP96, Hsp60, Hsp70, and dihydrolipoamide S-acetyltransferase were validated by immunoblotting. The present study provides a global picture of the changes in protein composition occurring during hamster sperm epididymal maturation, besides being the first ever report on the proteome of hamster spermatozoa.
Project description:Caput epididymal wild-type spermatozoa and cauda epididymal spermatozoa from mice null for the adenylyl cyclase Adcy10 gene are immotile unless stimulated by a membrane-permeant cyclic AMP analogue. Both types of spermatozoa exhibit flagellar angulation where the head folds back under these conditions. As sperm proteins undergo oxidation of sulfhydryl groups and the flagellum becomes more stable to external forces during epididymal transit, we hypothesized that ADCY10 is involved in a mechanism regulating flagellar stabilization. Although no differences were observed in global sulfhydryl status between caput and cauda epididymal spermatozoa from wild-type or Adcy10-null mice, two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis was performed to identify specific mouse sperm proteins containing sulfhydryl groups that became oxidized during epididymal maturation. A-kinase anchor protein 4, fatty acid-binding protein 9 (FABP9), glutathione S-transferase mu 5 and voltage-dependent anion channel 2 exhibited changes in thiol status between caput and cauda epididymal spermatozoa. The level and thiol status of each of these proteins were quantified in wild-type and Adcy10-null cauda epididymal spermatozoa. No differences in the abundance of any protein were observed; however, FABP9 in Adcy10-null cauda epididymal spermatozoa contained fewer disulfide bonds than wild-type sperm cells. In caput epididymal spermatozoa, FABP9 was detected in the cytoplasmic droplet, principal piece, midpiece, and non-acrosomal area of the head. However, in cauda epididymal spermatozoa, this protein localized to the perforatorium, post-acrosomal region and principal piece. Together, these results suggest that thiol changes during epididymal maturation have a role in the stabilization of the sperm flagellum.
Project description:To establish cultures of epithelial cells from all regions of the human epididymis to provide reagents for molecular approaches to functional studies of this epithelium.Experimental laboratory study.University research institute.Epididymis from seven patients undergoing orchiectomy for suspected testicular cancer without epididymal involvement.Human epididymis epithelial cells harvested from adult epididymis tissue.Establishment of a robust culture protocol for adult human epididymal epithelial cells.Cultures of caput, corpus, and cauda epithelial cells were established from epididymis tissue of seven donors. Cells were passaged up to eight times and maintained differentiation markers. They were also cryopreserved and recovered successfully. Androgen receptor, clusterin, and cysteine-rich secretory protein 1 were expressed in cultured cells, as shown by means of immunofluorescence, Western blot, and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The distribution of other epididymis markers was also shown by means of qRT-PCR. Cultures developed transepithelial resistance (TER), which was androgen responsive in the caput but androgen insensitive in the corpus and cauda, where unstimulated TER values were much higher.The results demonstrate a robust in vitro culture system for differentiated epithelial cell types in the caput, corpus, and cauda of the human epididymis. These cells will be a valuable resource for molecular analysis of epididymis epithelial function, which has a pivotal role in male fertility.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Outer dense fiber protein 2, Odf2, is a major component of the outer dense fibers, ODF, in the flagellum of spermatozoa. ODF are associated with microtubule doublets that form the axoneme. We recently demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of Odf2 is important for sperm motility. In the course of a study of Odf2 using Odf2 mouse knockout lines we observed that males of a high percentage chimaerism, made using XL169 embryonic stem cells, were infertile, whereas mice of low-medium percentage chimaerism were fertile. RESULTS:XL169 ES cells have a beta-geo gene trap cassette inserted in the Odf2 gene. To determine possible underlying mechanisms resulting in infertility we analyzed epididymal sperm and observed that >50% displayed bent tails. We next performed ultrastructural analyses on testis of high percentage XL169 chimaeric mice. This analysis showed that high percentage XL169 chimaeric mice produce elongating spermatids that miss one or more entire outer dense fibers in their midpiece and principal piece. In addition, we observed elongating spermatids that show thinning of outer dense fibers. No other obvious abnormalities or defects are present in elongating spermatids. Spermatozoa from the caput and cauda epididymis of XL169 mice of high percentage chimaerism show additional tail defects, including absence of one or more axonemal microtubule doublets and bent tails. Sperm with bent tails display abnormal motility. CONCLUSIONS:Our results document the possible impact of loss of one Odf2 allele on sperm tail structure and function, resulting in a novel sperm tail phenotype.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Mammalians gamete production takes place in the testis but when they exit this organ, although spermatozoa have acquired a specialized and distinct morphology, they are immotile and infertile. It is only after their travel in the epididymis that sperm gain their motility and fertility. Epididymis is a crescent shaped organ adjacent to the testis that can be divided in three gross morphological regions, head (caput), body (corpus) and tail (cauda). It contains a long and unique convoluted tubule connected to the testis via the efferent ducts and finished by joining the vas deferens in its caudal part. RESULTS: In this study, the testis, the efferent ducts (vas efferens, VE), nine distinct successive epididymal segments and the deferent duct (vas deferens, VD) of four adult boars of known fertility were isolated and their mRNA extracted. The gene expression of each of these samples was analyzed using a pig generic 9 K nylon microarray (AGENAE program; GEO accession number: GPL3729) spotted with 8931 clones derived from normalized cDNA banks from different pig tissues including testis and epididymis. Differentially expressed transcripts were obtained with moderated t-tests and F-tests and two data clustering algorithms based either on partitioning around medoid (top down PAM) or hierarchical clustering (bottom up HCL) were combined for class discovery and gene expression analysis. Tissue clustering defined seven transcriptomic units: testis, vas efferens and five epididymal transcriptomic units. Meanwhile transcripts formed only four clusters related to the tissues. We have then used a specific statistical method to sort out genes specifically over-expressed (markers) in testis, VE or in each of the five transcriptomic units of the epididymis (including VD). The specific regional expression of some of these genes was further validated by PCR and Q-PCR. We also searched for specific pathways and functions using available gene ontology information. CONCLUSION: This study described for the first time the complete transcriptomes of the testis, the epididymis, the vas efferens and the vas deferens on the same species. It described new genes or genes not yet reported over-expressed in these boar tissues, as well as new control mechanisms. It emphasizes and fulfilled the gap between studies done in rodents and human, and provides tools that will be useful for further studies on the biochemical processes responsible for the formation and maintain of the epididymal regionalization and the development of a fertile spermatozoa.
Project description:Study question: Can region-specific transcriptional profiling of the epididymis from fertile and sub-fertile bulls predict the aetiology of fertility/subfertility in males? Summary answer:The highly regulated gene expression along the bovine epididymis is affected by the fertility status of bulls used for artificial insemination. What is known already: In mammals, sperm maturation and storage occur in the epididymis. Each epididymal segment has his own transcriptomic signature that modulates the intraluminal composition that governs sequential modifications of the maturing male gamete. Main results and the role of chance: Hierarchical clustering and Principal Component Analysis revealed a clear separation between caput, corpus and cauda epididymides. Some transcripts characterize a particular anatomical segment, whereas others are expressed in two out of three epididymal segments. GO analysis allowed deduction of specific functions played by each epididymal segment. The transcriptional profiles between fertile vs. sub-fertile conditions clustered most closely in the corpus and cauda segments, whereas the profiles in the caput segment were distinct between fertile and sub-fertile bulls. Of the differently expressed genes, ten (including AKAP4, SMCP, SPATA3, TCP11, ODF1, CTCFL, SPATA18, ADAM28, SORD and FAM161A) were found to exert functions related to reproductive systems and 5 genes (including DEAD, CYST11, DEFB119, DEFB124 and MX1) were found to be associated with the defence response. Limitations, reasons for caution: Further work is required to correlate these modulations of epididymal functions with sperm fertilizing ability in order to understand the aetiology of certain cases of idiopathic infertility in livestock and men. Wider implications of the findings: As fertility can be quantified in bulls used for artificial insemination, this species is a unique model to aid in the understanding of male fertility/subfertility in man.Our data provide a molecular characterization that will facilitate advances in understanding the involvement of epididymalphysiology in sub/infertility aetiology. Overall design: Epididymides from 6 Holstein bulls with documented fertility were used. These bulls were divided into 2 groups: high fertility (HF) (n = 3), and medium–low fertility (n = 3) and their epididymal transcriptomic profiles were analyzed. Bovine cDNA microarray probing and bioinformatic tools were used to identify differentially expressed genes between caput, corpus and cauda epididymidal tissues of bulls with documented fertility index.
Project description:Sperm need to mature in the epididymis to become capable of fertilization. To understand the molecular mechanisms of mouse sperm maturation, we conducted a proteomic analysis using saturation dye labeling to identify proteins of caput and cauda epididymal sperm that exhibited differences in amounts or positions on two-dimensional gels. Of eight caput epididymal sperm-differential proteins, three were molecular chaperones and three were structural proteins. Of nine cauda epididymal sperm-differential proteins, six were enzymes of energy metabolism. To validate these proteins as markers of epididymal maturation, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyses were performed. During epididymal transit, heat shock protein 2 was eliminated with the cytoplasmic droplet and smooth muscle ?-actin exhibited reduced fluorescence from the anterior acrosome while the signal intensity of aldolase A increased, especially in the principal piece. Besides these changes, we observed protein spots, such as glutathione S-transferase mu 5 and the E2 component of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, shifting to more basic isoelectric points, suggesting post-translational changes such dephosphorylation occur during epididymal maturation. We conclude that most caput epididymal sperm-differential proteins contribute to the functional modification of sperm structures and that many cauda epididymal sperm-differential proteins are involved in ATP production that promotes sperm functions such as motility.