In the seminiferous epithelium, morphologically diverse junctions mediate inter-Sertoli and Sertoli-germ cell adhesive contact and likely transmit signals between contacting cells. Defining the molecular composition of testicular cell-cell junctions is an important step in determining their function. Proteins belonging to the cadherin superfamily are important mediators of cell-cell adhesion, as well as cell signaling. Here, we determined the spatial and temporal protein expression of four classic cadherins in rat testis: N-cadherin, cadherin-6, cadherin-11, and a cadherin defined by an antiserum generated against a conserved classic cadherin peptide (L4). Through Western blot analysis, all antibodies recognized unique proteins. Similarly, each cadherin displayed unique, cell-type specific immunostaining patterns. Whereas N-cadherin, cadherin-11, and L4-positive cadherin were expressed from Postnatal Day 7 through adulthood, cadherin-6 protein was not present at Postnatal Day 7 and first appeared at Day 21. Immunostaining of testis cryosections on Postnatal Days 7, 21, 31, 43, and those of adults indicated that cadherin-11 localized to peritubular cell junctions. N-cadherin immunostaining localized to basal inter-Sertoli junctions, Sertoli-spermatocyte junctions, and at about stages I–VII in Sertoli-elongate spermatid junctions. Cadherin-6 immunostaining was restricted to Sertoli-round spermatid and in Sertoli-elongate spermatid junctions at approximately stages XII–I. Finally, L4-positive immunostaining also detected Sertoli-round spermatid junctions in addition to Sertoli-elongate spermatid junctions at approximately stages XII–I. These data show that the various testicular cell-cell junctions are molecularly unique and dynamic complexes.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.