Epithelia lining the male reproductive duct modulate fertility by altering the luminal environment to which sperm are exposed. Although vas deferens epithelial cells reportedly express high levels of cyclooxygenases (Ptgs), and activation of bradykinin (BK) receptors can lead to upregulation of PTGS activity in epididymal epithelia, it remains unknown whether BKs and/or PTGSs have any role in modulating epithelial ion transport across vas deferens epithelia. Porcine and human vas deferens epithelial cell primary cultures and the PVD9902 cell line responded to lysylbradykinin with an increase in short circuit current (ISC; indicating net anion secretion), an effect that was 60%–93% reduced by indomethacin. The BK effect was inhibited by the B2 receptor subtype (BDKRB2) antagonist HOE140, whereas the B1 receptor subtype agonist des-Arg9-BK had no effect. BDKRB2 immunoreactivity was documented in most epithelial cells composing the native epithelium and on Western blots derived from cultured cells. Gene expression analysis revealed that the PTGS2 transcript is 20 times more abundant than its PTGS1 counterpart in cultured porcine vas deferens epithelia and that BDKRB2 mRNA is likewise highly expressed. Subsequent experiments revealed that prostaglandin E2, 1-OH prostaglandin E1 (prostaglandin E receptor 4 [PTGER4] agonist) and butaprost (PTGER2 agonist) increase ISC in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas sulprostone (mixed PTGER1 and PTGER3 agonist) produced no change in ISC. These results demonstrate that autacoids can affect epithelial cells to acutely modulate the luminal environment to which sperm are exposed in the vas deferens by enhancing PTGS activity, leading to the production of prostaglandins that act at PTGER4 and/or PTGER2 to induce or enhance anion secretion.
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Vol. 79 • No. 3