Developmental expression of the glutathione S-transferase Yo subunit in the rat testis and epididymis using light microscope immunocytochemistry.Anat Rec. 1994 Nov; 240(3):345-57.AR
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a family of isozymes that catalyze the conjugation of glutathione with various toxic electrophilic compounds. GSTs are composed of several classes based on the degree of sequence homology of their subunits. The Yo subunit, a member of the mu class, is expressed at high levels in the testis and epididymis. The purpose of this study was to immunolocalize the GST-Yo in these tissues during development.
The testes and epididymides of rats aged 7, 15, 21, 28, 39, 42, 45, 49, and 56 days were fixed in Bouin's fixative, and immunostained for light microscopic analysis.
In the testis the cytoplasm of all germ cells was unreactive until day 39. At that time, step 18 spermatids appeared moderately reactive, while the few observed step 19 spermatids were intensely reactive as were their residual bodies. The presence of residual bodies indicates that spermiation takes place as early as day 39; however, the number of step 19 spermatids is low at this age. A progressive increase in the size of the tubule and number of elongating spermatids was seen between days 42 and 49. In addition, by day 49, a weak staining was observed in steps 12-15, moderate in steps 16-17, and intense in steps 18-19 spermatids. In terms of the intensity of staining, cell types stained, size of the tubules, and number of elongating spermatids, no difference was noted between day 49, 56, and adult animals. Thus Yo protein expression in germ cells reached maturity by day 49. The epithelial cells of the rete testis were intensely reactive at day 7 and remained so throughout development. In contrast, while the epithelial cells of the efferent ducts at day 7 were intensely reactive, they were weakly reactive by day 39 and remained so at later ages. Along the entire epididymis, the columnar epithelial cells showed a moderate apical/supranuclear reaction from day 7 to 28. By day 39 principal cells of the initial segment became weakly reactive, while those in the caput and corpus were moderately stained, a situation seen at later ages including adults. Only by day 49 did principal cells of the proximal cauda become moderately stained as seen in adult animals. Thus the expression of the Yo protein in the principal cells of the proximal cauda may be regulated by different factors than those of the caput and corpus epididymidis. Alternatively, the expression of the Yo subunit in principal cells of the proximal cauda may develop later since this region would be the last to receive luminally derived testicular products. In the initial segment, the decrease in staining of principal cells at day 39 may be due to an inhibiting factor emanating from the testis. Spermatozoa appeared in the lumen of each epididymal region well after the expression of Yo had reached its adult staining pattern indicating that they are not a factor.
Overall these results suggest that the expression of GST-Yo in the various cells of the testis and epididymis are controlled by different factors during postnatal development.