Cell volume reduction is one of the most distinct morphological changes during spermiogenesis and may be largely attributable to water efflux from the cell. A strong candidate for a water efflux route, aquaporin 7 (AQP7), which is a water channel, was studied immunohistochemically in the rat testis. Immunoreactivity was restricted within the elongated spermatids, testicular spermatozoa, and residual bodies remaining in the seminiferous epithelium. Weak but distinct immunoreactivity was first observed in the cytoplasmic mass of the spermatid at step 8 of spermiogenesis. The Golgi-like apparatus became steadily immunoreactive at step 10. The plasma membrane covering the cytoplasmic mass showed strong immunoreactivity after step 16. At this step, the middle piece of the tail also showed immunoreactivity at the portion protruding into the lumen. The whole head and distal tail, where the elongated spermatid had only a limited amount of cytoplasm, showed no immunoreactivity throughout spermiogenesis. After spermiation, the immunoreactivity of AQP7 remained at the middle piece and in the cytoplasmic droplet in the testicular spermatozoon. The present observations suggest that AQP7 contributes to the volume reduction of spermatids, since this water channel protein is localized on the plasma membrane covering the condensing cytoplasmic mass of the elongated spermatid, and since the seminiferous tubule fluid is hypertonic.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Received: 15 July 1998 / Accepted: 24 August 1998
About this article
Cite this article
Suzuki-Toyota, F., Ishibashi, K. & Yuasa, S. Immunohistochemical localization of a water channel, aquaporin 7 (AQP7), in the rat testis. Cell Tissue Res 295, 279–285 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410051234
- Key words Spermatids
- Cell volume reduction
- Rat (Wistar)