Previous studies from our laboratory have provided evidence for the existence of a local reninangiotensin system in the rat epididymis. Evidence has also accumulated, indicating that locally formed angiotensin II from the rat epididymis may play a paracrine and/or autocrine role in regulating epididymal electrolyte and fluid transport. In the present study, specific antipeptide antibodies against the second extracellular loops of angiotensin II type I (AT1) and type II (AT2) receptors were used to localize immunocytochemically these receptors in the rat cauda epididymides of three developmental stages, namely, immature (2-week), early mature (6-week) and fully mature (10-week). The immunostaining intensity for AT1 receptors was found to be stronger than that for AT2 receptors throughout rat epididymides of all stages. However, the immunostaining for both AT2, and AT2 receptors observed in the fully mature rat epididymis was much more intense than that observed in the epididymides of the two younger stages. While the immunostaining for both AT1 and AT2 receptors in the younger rat epididymides appeared to be distributed in both basal and apical regions, the immunostaining in the fully mature epididymis was predominantly localized in the basal region. The present finding of the differential patterns of angiotensin II receptor immunoreactivity in three different stages of the rat epididymis may reflect the fine tuning of rat epididymal function by angiotensin II, acting as a paracrine or autocrine agent, during the course of development.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 31, 2009
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