Leptin and Leptin Receptor are Expressed only in Clear Cells of Rat Epididymis Epithelia

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Flavia Meireles Gombar & Cristiane da Fonte Ramos


Leptin is a 16 kilodaltons hormone secreted by adipose tissue and in the past few years it has been related to the reproductive system regulation. Leptin and its receptor (OBR) have been described in several reproductive organs and in different species but, in epididymis, there is still a lack of information. The aim of this work is to establish if leptin and its receptor are present on epididymis and where the production is occurring. At mRNA level the cauda portion showed a high expression of leptin (p<0.025) and OBRa (p<0.002) while at protein level the OBR expression was lower in cauda region (p<0.025) and leptin was not detected. The ratio between OBRa and OBRb was higher in both regions despite its total amount. By immunohistochemistry leptin and OBR were detected on epididymis epithelia, restricted to clear cells (CC). After efferent duct ligation (EDL) a decrease on leptin staining on CC was observed, suggesting that despite of epididymis production, most of leptin source may probably come from testis. Our results show that leptin and OBR, both mRNA and protein, are present on epididymis and exclusively in CC, suggesting that this tissue is responsive to the hormone and may have an important role on CC regulation.

KEY WORDS: Epididymis; Clear cell; Leptin; OBR.

How to cite this article

GOMBAR, M. F. & RAMOS, F. C. Leptin and leptin receptor are expressed only in clear cells of rat epididymis epithelia. Int. J. Morphol., 35(4):1303-1308, 2017.