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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(3), 662; doi:10.3390/ijms18030662

Melatonin MT1 and MT2 Receptors in the Ram Reproductive Tract

1
Grupo Biología y Fisiología de la Reproducción, Instituto de Investigación de Ciencias Ambientales de Aragón (IUCA), Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Departamento de Patología Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain
3
Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y de Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 11001 Bogotá, Colombia
4
Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Celular, Facultad de Veterinaria, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Aragón-Universidad de Zaragoza, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain
5
Dpto. de Reprodução Animal, da Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria e Zootecnia, da Universidade de São Paulo, 05508 270 São Paulo, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Russel J. Reiter
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 19 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Melatonin and Its Analogues: Experimental and Clinical Aspects)
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Abstract

Some melatonin functions in mammals are exerted through MT1 and MT2 receptors. However, there are no reports of their presence in the reproductive tract of the ram, a seasonal species. Thus, we have investigated their existence in the ram testis, epididymis, accessory glands and ductus deferens. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) revealed higher levels of m-RNA for both receptors in the testis, ampulla, seminal vesicles, and vas deferens, than in the other organs of the reproductive tract (p < 0.05). Western blot analyses showed protein bands compatible with the MT1 in the testis and cauda epididymis, and for the MT2 in the cauda epididymis and deferent duct. Immunohistochemistry analyses revealed the presence of MT1 receptors in spermatogonias, spermatocytes, and spermatids, and MT2 receptors in the newly-formed spermatozoa in the testis, whereas both receptors were located in the epithelial cells of the ampulla, seminal vesicles, and ductus deferens. Indirect immunofluorescence showed significant differences in the immunolocation of both receptors in spermatozoa during their transit in the epididymis. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that melatonin receptors are present in the ram reproductive tract. These results open the way for new studies on the molecular mechanism of melatonin and the biological significance of its receptors. View Full-Text
Keywords: melatonin receptor; ram; testis; epididymis; accessory glands melatonin receptor; ram; testis; epididymis; accessory glands
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González-Arto, M.; Aguilar, D.; Gaspar-Torrubia, E.; Gallego, M.; Carvajal-Serna, M.; Herrera-Marcos, L.V.; Serrano-Blesa, E.; Hamilton, T.R.S.; Pérez-Pé, R.; Muiño-Blanco, T.; Cebrián-Pérez, J.A.; Casao, A. Melatonin MT1 and MT2 Receptors in the Ram Reproductive Tract. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 662.

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