Adiponectin is an adipokine hormone that influences glucose utilization, insulin sensitivity, and energy homeostasis by signaling through two distinct receptors, ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2. While adipose tissue is the primary site of adiponectin expression in the chicken, we previously reported that adiponectin and its receptors are expressed in several other tissues. The objectives of the present study are to characterize adiponectin, ADIPOR1, and ADIPOR2 expressions in the chicken testis and to determine whether sexual maturation affects the abundance of testicular adiponectin, ADIPOR1, and ADIPOR2 mRNAs. By RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing, testicular adiponectin, ADIPOR1, and ADIPOR2 mRNAs were found to be identical to that expressed in the abdominal fat pad. Using anti-chicken adiponectin, ADIPOR1, or ADIPOR2 antibodies and immunohistochemistry, adiponectin-immunoreactive (ir) and ADIPOR1-ir cells were found exclusively in the peritubular cells as well as in Leydig cells. However, ADIPOR2-ir cells were found in the adluminal and luminal compartments of the seminiferous tubules as well as in interstitial cells. in particular, Sertoli cell syncytia, round spermatids, elongating spermatids, spermatozoa, and Leydig cells showed strong ADIPOR2 immunoreactivity. Using quantitative real-time PCR analyses, testicular ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2 mRNA abundance were found to be 8.3- and 9-fold higher (P<0.01) in adult chickens compared with prepubertal chickens respectively, suggesting that sexual maturation is likely to be associated with an up-regulation of testicular ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2 gene expressions. Collectively, our results indicate that adiponectin and its receptors are expressed in the chicken testis, where they are likely to influence steroidogenesis, spermatogenesis, Sertoli cell function as well as spermatozoa motility.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Cell Biology