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Differential Expression of Multiple Connexins in Rat Corpus and Cauda Epididymis at Various Postnatal Stages

한국축산학회지 2013년 55권 6호 p.521 ~ 530
 ( Lee Ki-Ho ) - Eulji University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Direct cell-cell communication via the transfer of small molecules between neighboring cells in tissue is accomplished by gap junctions composed of various connexins (Cxs). Proper postnatal development of the epididymis is important for acquisition of male reproduction. The epididymal epithelium is composed of several cell types, and some of these cells are connected by gap junctions. The present study was conducted to determine the presence of Cx transcripts in the corpus and cauda epididymis. In addition, transcriptional changes of Cxs expressed during different postnatal stages were examined by real-time PCR analysis. In both epididymal regions, the same nine Cx transcripts of thirteen Cxs tested were detected. In the corpus epididymis, the highest levels of Cxs31.1 and 37 transcripts were observed at 45 days of age, and amounts of Cxs26, 30.3, and 32 transcripts increased with age and subsequently decreased in the elderly. Expression of Cx31 was greatly increased in the adult and elder stages, while Cxs40, 43, and 45 were abundant in the early postnatal stages. In the cauda epididymis, expression of Cxs26, 30.3, 31.1, 37, and 40 reached the highest levels at 5 months of age. The levels of Cxs31 and 32 mRNAs fluctuated throughout the postnatal period. The amounts of Cxs43 and 45 transcripts were more abundant during the late neonatal and prepubertal ages than later ages. These findings suggest that regional specification of the epididymis is partly regulated by differential expression of Cx genes during the postnatal developmental period.


Connexin; Corpus epididymis; Cauda epididymis; Postnatal development; Gene expression
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