Cellular junctions in the epididymis, a critical parameter for understanding male reproductive toxicology

Abstract : Epididymal sperm maturation is a critical aspect of male reproduction in which sperm acquire motility and the ability to fertilize an ovum. Sperm maturation is dependent on the creation of a specific environment that changes along the epididymis and which enables the maturation process. The blood-epididymis barrier creates a unique luminal micro-environment, different from blood, by limiting paracellular transport and forcing receptor-mediated transport of macromolecules across the epididymal epithelium. Direct cellular communication between cells allows coordinated function of the epithelium. A limited number of studies have directly examined the effects of toxicants on junctional proteins and barrier function in the epididymis. Effects on the integrity of the blood-epididymis barrier have resulted in decreased fertility and, in some cases, the development of sperm granulomas. Studies have shown that in addition to tight junctions, proteins implicated in the maintenance of adherens junctions and gap junctions alter epididymal functions. This review will provide an overview of the types and roles of cellular junctions in the epididymis, and how these are targeted by different toxicants.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 17, 2019 - 9:47:20 PM
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Daniel Cyr, Julie Dufresne, Mary Gregory. Cellular junctions in the epididymis, a critical parameter for understanding male reproductive toxicology. Reproductive Toxicology, Elsevier, 2018, 81, pp.207-219. ⟨10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.08.013⟩. ⟨pasteur-02133265⟩

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