Expression profiles of Sox transcription factors within the postnatal rodent testes

  • Pauline Roumaud
  • Josée Haché
  • Luc J. Martin


SRY-related box (Sox) transcription factors are conserved among vertebrate species. These proteins regulate multiple processes including sex determination and testis differentiation of the male embryo. Members of the Sox family have been identified in pre- and postnatal testis and are known to play an important role in sex determination (Sry, Sox9), male gonadal development, and fertility (Sox4, Sox8, Sox30). However, their expression profiles per cell types remain elusive. The objectives of this research were to characterize the expression profiles of Sox family members within adult testes using publically available datasets and to determine whether these findings are consistent with literature as well as immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization results. We have found that Sox4, Sox8, Sox9, and Sox12 are highly expressed in Sertoli cells, whereas Sox5, Sox6, and Sox30 were typically expressed in spermatocytes and spermatids. Spermatogonia were characterized by the expressions of Sox3, Sox4, Sox12, Sox13, and Sox18. Hence, these results suggest that Sox transcription factors may play different roles according to cell types of the adult mammalian testis.


Sox Transcription factors Sertoli cells Leydig cells Seminiferous tubules Germ cells 



This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada (Grant No.: 386557-2012 to L.J.M.) and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) (Grant No.: IAR2013-029 to L.J.M.).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that would prejudice there impartiality.

Supplementary material

11010_2018_3302_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1.3 mb)
Fig. S1—Negative controls for immunofluorescence detections. Immunofluorescence was performed on adult mouse testis (P120) sections using a rabbit normal IgG (green fluorescence) and a mouse normal IgG (red fluorescence). Cell nuclei were detected using Hoechst 33342 (blue fluorescence). Results are representative of three independent experiments. Magnification, x 200 and x 400 (PPTX 1324 KB)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversité de MonctonMonctonCanada

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