Gene Expression and Localization of NGF and Its Cognate Receptors NTRK1 and NGFR in the Sex Organs of Male Rabbits

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Abstract

Contents

Experiments were devised to characterize the expression of nerve growth factor, beta polypeptide (NGF), and its cognate receptors neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 1 (NTRK1) and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) in rabbit male sex organs, as well as the concentrations of NGF in both seminal and blood plasma of sexually mature male rabbits. Immunoreactivity and gene expression for NGF and cognate receptors were detected in testis, prostate gland and seminal vesicle. The highest levels of NGF and NTRK1 transcripts were found in the prostate, while intermediate expressions were found in the testis. NGFR transcripts were expressed at the same levels in both testis and prostate and were more abundant than in seminal vesicles. The widespread distribution of NGF in all prostate glandular cells, together with its relative high mRNA abundance, confirms that the prostate of rabbits is the main source of this neurotrophin. In conclusion, the present data suggest that the NGF system is involved in the testicular development and spermatogenesis of rabbits and that NGF may act as a potential ovulation-inducing factor being abundantly present in the seminal plasma.

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