Localization and expression of spermadhesin PSP-I/PSP-II subunits in the reproductive organs of the boar


Juan M. Vázquez, Departamento de Medicina y Cirugía Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, 30071 Murcia, Spain.
E-mail: vazquez@um.es


The epithelial localization and expression of the spermadhesin PSP-I and PSP-II subunits were determined in the testis, ductus epididymes (caput, corpus and cauda), seminal vesicles and bulbourethral glands of mature boars, using immunohistochemical, western blotting and RT-PCR methods. Immunohistochemistry showed positive labelling for PSP-I and PSP-II antibodies in the epithelium of seminal vesicles in all males tested. Positive immunolabelling, but with variable intensity, was also present in the epididymal epithelium (caput, corpus and cauda), although varying largely among segments and boars. Immunoreactivity was nearly or completely absent in the seminiferous epithelium and the bulbourethral gland, although SDS-PAGE and western blotting revealed the presence of PSP-I and PSP-II immunoreactive bands in all the tissue extracts, including the testis and the bulbourethral gland. mRNA amplification by RT-PCR using primers specific for PSP-I and PSP-II showed a trend similar to that observed for western blotting, i.e. intensity variation between tissues (even between segments of the same epididymis) and among boars. Our results indicate that the seminal vesicles are the main source of PSP-I and PSP-II spermadhesins, although epididymal segments, testis and the bulbourethral gland also participate in the expression of both proteins.