The expression pattern of Notch family receptors during mouse spermatogenesis was examined by immunohistochemistry. The entire cytoplasm of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids showed staining with antibodies against extracellular domains of Notch1, 2 and 4. In contrast, the nuclei of spermatogonia showed staining with an antibody against the intracellular domain of Notch3, and the nuclei of spermatocytes and spermatids showed staining with antibodies against the intracellular domains of Notch1 and 4. During regeneration of spermatogonia in busulfan-treated mice, the nuclei of all proliferating cells showed staining for the intracellular domain of Notch3. Western blot analysis showed that the molecular weights of the intracellular domains of Notch1 and 3 localizing in the nuclear fraction were smaller than those in the cytoplasmic fraction. This was consistent with the theory that the intracellular domain of Notch was cleaved in the cytoplasm and translocated to the nucleus. These results suggest that different Notch signals are sequentially activated during mouse spermatogenesis and control the proliferation and differentiation of spermatogenic stem cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes