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Age-associated expression of vitamin D receptor and vitamin D-metabolizing enzymes in the male reproductive tract and sperm of Hu sheep
- Yao, Xiaolei, EI-Samahy, M.A., Yang, Hua, Feng, Xu, Li, Fengzhe, Meng, Fanxing, Nie, Haitao, Wang, Feng
- Animal reproduction science 2018 v.190 pp. 27-38
- adults, calcitriol, calcitriol receptors, enzymes, epididymis, epithelial cells, messenger RNA, protein synthesis, puberty, rams, spermatogenesis, spermatozoa, testes
- The cellular response to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (Vit D3; biologically active form of Vitamin D) is complex and depends not only on Vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression but also on cellular uptake of circulating Vit D3 and the presence and activity of Vitamin D-metabolizing enzyme. This study evaluated the expression of VDR and Vitamin D-metabolizing enzymes in the ram reproductive tract at different developmental stages and in spermatozoa. Nearly all cell types in the testes and epithelial cells of the caput, corpus, and cauda expressed VDR, CYP27B1, and CYP24A1 proteins. The mRNA and protein expression of CYP2R1, CYP27A1, and CYP27B1 in the testes and cauda increased significantly with increasing age (P < 0.05). However, epididymal VDR mRNA and protein expression showed no significant difference (P < 0.05) between adult (9- and 24-month-old) and prepubertal (3-month-old) rams. Furthermore, VDR and CYP24A1 were mainly concentrated in the mid-piece of ejaculated or cauda epididymis spermatozoa or both. Additionally, VDR and CYP27B1 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly higher in ejaculated spermatozoa than in cauda epididymal spermatozoa (P < 0.05). Moreover, VDR and CYP24A1 expression was significantly higher in high-motility than in low-motility spermatozoa (P < 0.05). The diverse expression patterns of VDR and Vitamin D-metabolizing enzymes in the ram reproductive tract at different developmental stages and spermatozoa suggest it plays a potential role in spermatogenesis.