Basal cells are present in the columnar pseudostratified epithelium covering the epididymis of all mammalian species, which regulates the microenvironment where the functionally incompetent germ cells produced by the testis are matured and stored. Striking novelties have come from investigations on epididymal basal cells in the past 30–40 years. In addition to an earlier hypothesised scavenger role for basal cells, linked to their proven extratubular origin and the expression of macrophage antigens, basal cells have been shown to be involved in cell–cell cross-talk, as well as functioning as luminal sensors to regulate the activity of principal and clear cells. Involvement of basal cells in the regulation of electrolyte and water transport by principal cells was hypothesised. This control is suggested to be mediated by the local formation of prostaglandins. Members of the aquaporin (AQP) and/or aquaglyceroporin family (AQP3, AQP7 and AQP8) are also specifically expressed in the rat epididymal basal cells. Transport of glycerol and glycerylphosphorylcholine from the epithelium of the epididymis to the lumen in relation to sperm maturation may be mediated by AQP. Most probably basal cells collaborate to the building up of the blood–epididymis barrier through cell adhesion molecules, implying an involvement in immune control exerted towards sperm cells, which are foreigners in the environment in which they were produced.
|Titolo:||Are the basal cells of the mammalian epididymis still an enigma?|
ARRIGHI, SILVANA (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||epithelium; histophysiology|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/01 - Anatomia degli Animali Domestici|
|Data di pubblicazione:||ott-2014|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1071/RD13301|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|