Epididymis is a novel site of erythropoietin production in mouse reproductive organs.

Division of Integrated Life Science, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, 606-8502, Kyoto, Japan.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.41). 09/2002; 296(1):145-51. DOI:10.1016/S0006-291X(02)00832-X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The epididymis consists of the interstitial tissue and the ductus epididymidis, an extremely tortuous duct, in which spermatozoa exported from the testis gain motility and fertilizing capacity. We found that the cultured mouse epididymis produces erythropoietin (Epo). The content of Epo mRNA in the epididymis from the adult mouse (8-week-old) amounts to 40% of that in the kidney. The epididymal Epo mRNA dramatically increased upon growth; its level increased 120-fold from the age of 3 weeks to 7 weeks when they complete sexual maturation, while the increase in the total RNA was 3-fold. Hypoxia induced a 5-fold increase in the epididymal Epo mRNA transiently, which is much lower than the induction in the kidney (28-fold). In situ hybridization technique elucidated that the site of Epo production was located in the interstitial space between ductus epididymidis. The epididymal Epo may have an unidentified function in the male reproductive organ.

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Toshihiro Kobayashi