The testis consists of two types of tissues, the interstitial tissue and the semi-niferous tubule, which have different functions and are assumed to have different nutritional metabolism. The localization of enzymes of the mitochondrial fatty acid b-oxidation system in the testis was investigated to obtain a better understanding of nutrient metabolism in the testis. Adult rat testis tissues were subjected to immunoblot analysis for quantitation of the amounts of enzyme proteins, to DNA microarray analysis for gene expression, and to immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy for localization. Quantitative analysis by immunoblot and DNA microarray revealed that enzymes occur abundantly in Leydig cells in the interstitial tissue but much less so in the seminiferous tubules. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Leydig cells in the interstitial tissue and Sertoli cells in the seminiferous tubules contain a full set of mitochondrial fatty acid b-oxidation enzymes in relatively plentiful amounts among the cells in the testis, but that this is not so in spermatogenic cells. This characteristic localization of the mitochondrial fatty acid b-oxidation system in the testis needs further elucidation in terms of a possible role for it in the nutritional metabolism of spermatogenesis.
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