Feline Gonads Exhibit Tissue Specific Alternative Splicing of Oestrogen Receptor Alpha (ESR1)
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Reproduction in Domestic Animals
Special Issue: Canine and Feline Reproduction VII: Reproductive Biology and Medicine of Domestic and Exotic Carnivores. Proceedings of the 7th Quadrennial International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction. Whistler, Canada. 26-29 July 2012.
Volume 47, Issue Supplement s6, pages 30–34, December 2012
How to Cite
Schoen, J., Sharbati, S., Ritter, J. and Jewgenow, K. (2012), Feline Gonads Exhibit Tissue Specific Alternative Splicing of Oestrogen Receptor Alpha (ESR1). Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 47: 30–34. doi: 10.1111/rda.12065
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 31 MAY 2012
- German Research Council. Grant Numbers: Je 163/9-1, 1231/2-1
Male felids frequently show teratospermia. At least in the domestic cat model, teratospermia is accompanied by impaired regulation of testicular apoptosis. We hypothesize that this phenomenon is caused by dysregulations in oestrogen signalling pathways. Both classical oestrogen receptors (ESR1 and 2) are expressed in species and/or tissue-specific manners and display different variants, inter alia, caused by alternative splicing. In vitro studies showed that exon deleted transcripts are translated into proteins and that some of the variants modify the effects of the full-length ERs. It has been proposed that some of the functional and morphological dysregulations, for example, during spermatogenesis, could directly derive from this phenomenon. In the present basic study, we investigated the expression pattern of ESR1 splicing variants in the gonads of domestic cats. Testicular, epididymal as well as ovarian tissue samples were collected from routine castrations. ESR1 variants were detected by means of RT-PCR using primers spanning one to three exons. We detected the variants Δ4 and Δ7 in all tissue samples investigated. Additionally, the testicular parenchyma expressed the variant Δ6 and double exon deletions of ESR1 (Δ4/6 and Δ6/7). Using an antiserum recognizing all previously identified ESR1 splicing variants, we revealed ESR1 proteins being expressed in nearly all cells of the testicular and ovarian parenchyma. ESR1 Δ6 protein, however, detected by an antiserum specifically raised against the Δ6 variant, was predominantly located in Sertoli cells. As the exon deletion variants are significantly expressed and show a distinct expression pattern, they could specifically modulate the cellular responsiveness to hormonal stimuli within the gonads.