Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the developmental pattern of androgen receptor (AR) in caput epididymis.
Materials and methods: In this study three randomly selected rats were sacrificed at ages 21, 56, 90 and 120 days old. All male rats were anesthetized with ethyl ether before killing. Then, the caput epididymides were removed and fixed in Bouin's fixative at +4°C for 36 hour. Afterwards the tissue samples were embedded in paraffin for routine histological methods. Later the tissues were sectioned at 5μm and mounted on poly-L-lysin-coated slides. To solve the antigen masking problem, we performed microwave stimulated antigen retrieval technique before the immunohistochemical staining. Avidin-Biotin-Peroxidase Complex (ABC) method was applied for immunohistochemical staining.
Results: In all age groups of rats studied, positive immunohistochemical staining for the AR appeared in nuclei of epididymal cells. The staining intensity of AR positive cells did not change depending on age. In caput epididymis, immunostainable AR was found in tubular epithelial cells (principal cells, basal cells and apical cells) and peritubular smooth muscle cells. The AR staining in the epithelial cells appeared to be stronger than in the peritubular smooth muscle cells. In the epithelial cells; staining intensity was stronger in principal cells than in basal cells and apical cells.
Conclusion: Staining intensity of AR positive epididymal cells irrespective of age indicated the necessity of androgens for postnatal differentiation and maintaining the structure of the epididymis. Stronger staining intensity in principal cells suggested that principal cells are more sensitive to androgen stimulation.
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