Mapping the testicular interstitial fluid proteome from normal rats

Peter G. Stanton, Caroline FH Foo, Adam Rainczuk, Andrew N. Stephens, Mark Condina, Liza O'Donnell, Wolfgang Weidner, Tomomoto Ishikawa, Lyndsey Cruickshanks, Lee B. Smith, Robert I. McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Communication between the testicular somatic (Sertoli, Leydig, peritubular myoid, macrophage) and germ cell types is essential for sperm production (spermatogenesis), but the communicating factors are poorly understood. We reasoned that identification of proteins in the testicular interstitial fluid (TIF) that bathes these cells could provide a new means to explore spermatogenic function. The aim of this study was to map the proteome of TIF from normal adult rats. Low-abundance proteins in TIF were enriched using ProteoMiner beads and identified by MALDI-MS/MS, recognizing 276 proteins. Comparison with proteomic and genomic databases showed these proteins originated from germ cells, somatic cells (Sertoli, peritubular myoid, Leydig), and blood plasma. In silico analysis revealed homologues of >80% TIF proteins in the human plasma proteome, suggesting ready exchange between these fluids. Only 36% of TIF proteins were common with seminiferous tubule fluid that transports mature spermatids to the epididymis, indicating these two fluids are quite different. This TIF proteome provides an important new resource for the study of intercellular communication in the testis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2391-2402
Number of pages12
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Animal proteomics
  • Germ cell
  • Intercellular communication
  • MS
  • Sertoli cell
  • Spermatogenesis

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