Problem Although the majority of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are reported in many species, some of them are not yet described in the rat. Further, factors that govern Tlr expression in the male reproductive tract have received little attention. We attempt to identify and characterize Tlrs in the rat and determine the expression profile under conditions that affect male reproductive tract gene expression.
Method of study Rat Tlr5, Tlr10, and Tlr11 transcript sequences were submitted to GenBank and in silico characterization carried out using bioinformatics tools. RT-PCR analyses using gene specific primers for rat Tlr1–13 were carried out with RNA isolated from reproductive tract tissues of various experimental groups.
Results Tlr5, Tlr10, and Tlr11 identified in this study share features that are characteristic of the known TLRs. Abundant Tlr expression was observed in the male reproductive tract of adult and developing rats. Further, Tlr expression was also observed in the epididymides of androgen ablated rats.
Conclusion Tlr5, Tlr10, and Tlr11 are ubiquitously expressed in the rat. Tlrs seem to be expressed during male reproductive tract development and under conditions of androgen ablation, suggesting the preparedness of the male reproductive tract to detect an infection under all conditions of androgen status.