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

Localization of metallothionein in the genital organs of the male rat.

We studied the immunohistological localization of metallothionein ( MT), a low molecular weight metal binding protein, in male rat genital organs (testis, epididymis, ejaculatory duct, seminal vesicle, coagulating gland, and prostate) by use of the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method. MT concentrations in testis, seminal vesicle, and prostate ranged from 15-30 micrograms/g tissue. In testis, seminiferous tubules with mature spermatozoa exhibited weak MT staining, whereas the tubules containing differentiating spermatogenic cells but not containing spermatozoa showed strong MT staining. No MT immunostaining was observed in Leydig cells. In growing rat testes, the pattern of MT immunostaining was found to change with development: MT was found in supporting cells only on Day 7, spermatogonia adjacent to basement membrane on Day 14, and spermatocytes localized in the central part of the tubules on Day 21. Strong MT immunostaining in the basal cells was a common feature in other genital tissues, except the ductus efferentes. In prostate, the strongest MT staining was found in the lateral lobe, and MT was localized in apocrine secretions in the dorsal lobe. The present results suggest a close association of MT with cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as possible involvement of MT in supply or storage of zinc ions.[1]


  1. Localization of metallothionein in the genital organs of the male rat. Nishimura, H., Nishimura, N., Tohyama, C. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (1990) [Pubmed]
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