Characterization of the glycoconjugates of boar testis and epididymis.J Reprod Fertil. 2000 Nov; 120(2):325-35.JR
Lectin histochemistry was used to perform in situ characterization of the glycoconjugates present in boar testis and epididymis. Thirteen horseradish peroxidase- or digoxigenin-labelled lectins were used in samples obtained from healthy fertile boars. The acrosomes of the spermatids were stained intensely by lectins with affinity for galactose and N-acetyl-galactosamine residues, these being soybean, peanut and Ricinus communis agglutinins. Sertoli cells were stained selectively by Maackia ammurensis agglutinin. The lamina propria of seminiferous tubules showed the most intense staining with fucose-binding lectins. The Golgi area and the apical part of the principal cells of the epididymis were stained intensely with many lectins and their distribution was similar in the three zones of the epididymis. On the basis of lectin affinity, both testis and epididymis appear to have N- and O-linked glycoconjugates. Spermatozoa from different epididymal regions showed different expression of terminal galactose and N-acetyl-galactosamine. Sialic acid (specifically alpha2,3 neuraminic-5 acid) was probably incorporated into spermatozoa along the extratesticular ducts. These findings indicate that the development and maturation of boar spermatozoa are accompanied by changes in glycoconjugates. As some lectins stain cellular or extracellular compartments specifically, these lectins could be useful markers in histopathological evaluation of diseases of boar testis and epididymis.