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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of alpha and gamma interferon receptors in the sperm cell.

The present study was conducted to examine whether or not the sperm cell has the expression of receptors for interferon (IFN) -alpha and -gamma. This was investigated using specific antibodies. Antibody to IFN-alpha receptor reacted with the acrosomal and tail regions of the murine sperm cell in the indirect immunofluorescence technique (IFT) and immunoscanning electron microscopic procedure (ISEP). In the immunoprecipitation and Western blot procedures, this antibody specifically recognized a protein band of approximately 100 kD, which corresponds to the molecular weight of IFN-alpha receptor present in other cell types. Antibody to IFN-gamma receptor specifically reacted with the posterior head, midpiece, and tail regions of sperm cell in IFT and ISEP, and recognized a band of approximately 85 kD in the immunoprecipitation and Western blot procedures, corresponding to the IFN-alpha receptor. Similar bands of approximately 100 kD and approximately 85 kD molecular identities were also detected in the testes extracts and sperm extracts of other mammalian species namely human, rabbit, and pig, the species tested. These findings indicate that the mammalian sperm cell has expression of IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma receptors, which seem to develop during spermatogenesis in the testes. These findings may have implications in male infertility and antisperm contraceptive vaccine development.[1]


  1. Expression of alpha and gamma interferon receptors in the sperm cell. Naz, R.K., Chauhan, S.C., Rose, L.P. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
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