Immunohistological localization of clusterin in the male genital tract in humans and marmosets

M. K. O'Bryan, C. Mallidis, B. F. Murphy, H. W.G. Baker

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Clusterin is a multifunctional protein, first described in the reproductive tracts of the rat and the ram. It is produced by several cell types and exists in at least two differentially glycosylated forms. The aim of this study was to extend knowledge of clusterin expression in the primate (human and marmoset) male reproductive tracts by means of clusterin-specific immunohistochemical techniques. In both normal and abnormal testicular tissue, clusterin was found in association with Sertoli cells, lumenal sperm, proacrosomal Golgi complexes, residual bodies, and degenerating germ cells. The major differences observed between the two groups were attributable primarily to morphological differences rather than to clusterin expression specifically. There was no correlation between testicular clusterin content and the cause and severity of spermatogenic disorders. Within normal epididymides, regional differences in clusterin staining similar to those reported in the rat were observed. The seminal vesicles contained large amounts of positive clusterin staining, whereas normal human prostate was completely negative. Low levels of clusterin expression were observed in the marmoset prostate. This study suggests that clusterin is an important and widespread product in the human and marmoset reproductive tracts and is likely to have a role in spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

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