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

Distribution of actin isoforms within cells of the seminiferous epithelium of the rat testis: evidence for a muscle form of actin in spermatids.

Recently, a cDNA that coded for an enteric smooth muscle gamma-actin (SMGA) that was expressed in post-meiotic mouse testicular cells was identified. To determine the cellular location(s) of the protein encoded by this cDNA, this SMGA was probed for by immunocytochemistry in the cells of the seminiferous epithelium with two different monoclonal antibodies (Mabs), B4 and HUC 1-1, known to be muscle actin selective. As a control, we also examined the immunoreactivity of a third Mab, C4, that reacts with all non-muscle and muscle vertebrate isoactins. Using light and electron microscopy, a progressive increase in immunolabeling was observed with the muscle selective HUC 1-1 Mab over a loose actin filamentous network distributed throughout the cytoplasm of steps 4-16 spermatids. Thereafter, the labeling decreased such that at step 17 spermatids, only cytoplasmic labeling in the tail of the spermatids was observed. No labeling of this network was noted with the C4 or B4 Mabs. However, myoid cells enveloping seminiferous tubules and smooth muscle cells of interstitial blood vessels demonstrated comparable intense labeling with each of the three Mabs. The C4 Mab intensely labeled actin filaments of the Sertoli-Sertoli and Sertoli-spermatid ectoplasmic specializations. Also well labeled were numerous actin filaments found in the apical Sertoli cell processes encapsulating the heads of late step 19 spermatids at stage VII of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium. In addition, actin filamentous bundles enveloping tubulobulbar complexes of the late spermatids within the Sertoli cell apical processes were intensely labeled. The actin filaments in the Sertoli apical processes and surrounding the tubulobulbar complexes were also strongly immunolabeled with the HUC 1-1 Mab. The C4 Mab but not the B4 or HUC 1-1 Mabs, recognized actin in the subacrosomal space of steps 4-18 spermatids. This study suggests that there are muscle isoforms of actin within the cytoplasm of developing spermatids and within apical processes of Sertoli cells.[1]


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