Immunoglobulins and immunoglobulin-containing cells in the reproductive tract of normal rams.Aust Vet J. 1988 Jan; 65(1):16-20.AV
The levels of the immunoglobulins IgA, IgG1, IgG2, and IgM were measured in serum and fluid from various locations in the reproductive tract of normal rams. These fluids included semen, preputial washings, and fluid from the accessory sex glands (ASG), vasa deferens, rete testes, and tissue fluid from the seminal vesicles, bulbourethral glands, epididymal tails and efferent ducts. In addition, the prevalence of specific Ig-containing cells (ICC) was measured in sections of formalin fixed tissues stained by an indirect peroxidase-antiperoxidase labelling technique. Mean IgA levels in semen (1.23 mg/ml) and ASG fluid (0.46 mg/ml), were higher than in serum (0.19 mg/ml) and were at levels higher than IgG1 or IgG2 levels in semen, ASG fluid, and preputial washings, thus confirming the existence of a local immune system primarily in the ASG of ram genitalia. Relatively low concentrations of IgA and IgG in other genital fluids and IgG levels in these fluids were consistent with diffusion from serum. The relatively high prevalence of IgA-containing cells in bulbourethral (56% of all ICC) and prostate (49%) glands confirmed these tissues as major sites of local Ig production. ICC were also found in large numbers beneath pelvic urethral and preputial epithelia, but these were predominantly IgG-containing (88 and 72% respectively).