Supported in part by grant HD00997 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (J.L.P.).
Acute Effect of Vasectomy on the Function of the Rat Epididymal Epithelium and Vas Deferens
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
2006 American Society of Andrology
Journal of Andrology
Volume 27, Issue 6, pages 826–836, November-December 2006
How to Cite
Lavers, A. E., Swanlund, D. J., Hunter, B. A., Tran, M. L., Pryor, J. L. and Roberts, K. P. (2006), Acute Effect of Vasectomy on the Function of the Rat Epididymal Epithelium and Vas Deferens. Journal of Andrology, 27: 826–836. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.106.000745
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
- Received for Publication May 22, 2006; accepted for Publication June 30, 2006
ABSTRACT: Persistent infertility after apparently successful vasectomy reversal is common. One possible etiology is epididymal epithelial dysfunction resulting in improper sperm maturation after vasectomy reversal. The epididymal epithelium secretes a number of proteins that are thought to be required for the maturation of sperm. Ligation of the vas deferens during vasectomy may affect the synthesis of some of these proteins. In the present study, the function of the epididymal epithelium was assessed at early times after vasectomy (1, 4, and 7 days) by measuring the level of mRNA of 4 secreted proteins: Crisp-1, clusterin, osteopontin, and transferrin. In addition, the site of synthesis of these proteins was determined by immunocytochemistry. The results demonstrated that the expression of Crisp-1 and clusterin, representative epididymal secretory proteins, was largely unaffected by vasectomy. However, osteopontin mRNA increased in the vas deferens in response to vasectomy. Immunocytochemical localization of osteopontin suggested that both infiltrating immune cells and deferential luminal epithelium were responsible for this up-regulation. Transferrin expression was viewed as a marker for immune cells at the site of injury. However, both the caput epididymis and deferential epithelia were found to express transferrin, in addition to immune cells. In conclusion, there appear to be only minor changes in expression of genes encoding epididymal secretory proteins acutely after vasectomy, but, not surprisingly, there was evidence of an inflammatory response after vasectomy.