Osteopontin and related SIBLING glycoprotein genes are expressed by Sertoli cells during mouse testis development

Authors

  • Megan J. Wilson,

    1. Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Current affiliation:
    1. Biochemistry Department, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • Lucy Liaw,

    1. Center for Molecular Medicine, Maine Medical Centre Research Institute, Scarborough, Maine
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  • Peter Koopman

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    2. Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    • Institute for Molecular Disease, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia
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Abstract

Matrix proteins play important roles in tissue morphogenesis. We have studied the expression of genes encoding the related SIBLING glycoproteins osteopontin (OPN), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and dentin matrix protein (DMP) during the development of male and female gonads during mouse embryogenesis. Opn mRNA was expressed specifically by Sertoli cells of the developing testis cords, in the mesonephric tubules of both sexes, and, transiently, in the Müllerian ducts of both sexes, as determined by whole-mount and section in situ hybridization. OPN protein was detected in the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells and luminal cells of the mesonephric tubules, with small amounts associated with the plasma membrane of germ cells. We found no defects in developing testes of Opn−/− mice using a range of cell type-specific markers, suggesting that other SIBLING proteins may function in testis development. Dmp and Bsp mRNA was also expressed in the developing testis cords, supporting the view that all three SIBLING proteins may contribute to testis differentiation. Developmental Dynamics 233:1488–1495, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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