JOURNAL ARTICLE

An insight into testis and gubernaculum dynamics of INSL3-RXFP2 signalling during testicular descent in the dog

S Arrighi, G Bosi, D Groppetti, M Aralla, F Cremonesi
Reproduction, Fertility, and Development 2010, 22 (5): 751-60
20450827
Insulin-like 3 (INSL3) plays a prominent role in male development and is supposed to induce the growth of the gubernaculum testis (g.t.), thus being directly involved in testicular descent in humans and rodents. This happens through activation of the RXFP2 receptor (GREAT or LGR8). The INSL3-RXFP2 complex is reputed to play an additional paracrine role in the testis, possibly acting as part of an autocrine feedback loop. The present work provides evidence of the immunolocalisation of INSL3 in the Leydig cells of canine fetuses and of the expression of RXFP2 receptor in different tissues of the g.t. of the same specimens. RXFP2 was localised at the cell membrane of g.t. muscle and connective cells, as well as in the epithelial cells of the developing excurrent ducts. Notably, RXFP2 immunoreactivity of the g.t. was limited to fetuses at ~35-45 days of gestation, which is also the fetal period when the endocrine compartment of the dog testis is active endocrinologically, as confirmed by the anti-P450c17 and anti-INSL3 immunoreactivities of the fetal Leydig cells, and by anti-Müllerian hormone immunoreactivity of the Sertoli cells. The same immunoreactivities were also evaluated in the testes of cryptorchid dogs of different ages. RXFP2 immunoreactivity was absent from genital tracts of cryptorchid testes and g.t. remnants.

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