Histochemical localization of inhibin and activin alpha, beta A and beta B subunits in rat gonads.

K. Ogawa*, M. Kurohmaru, K. Shiota, M. Takahashi, T. Nishida, Y. Hayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The localization of alpha, beta A and beta B subunits of inhibin/activin polypeptides was studied in the ovary and testis of sexually mature, immature, and embryonic rats. Specific staining with these three subunits was also evident in the oocytes from embryonic to mature female rats. This result suggests that inhibin- and activin-like substances may be produced in the oocytes and these substances may play a role in the oocyte growth and differentiation. Judging from the intensity of immunoreaction in mature female rats, the three subunits should be produced more abundantly in luteal cells than in the granulosa cells. Immunoreactive alpha, beta A and beta B subunits were observed in the cummulus oophorous in the morning (11:00), but not in the evening (23:00) on proestrus. The results are in well agreement with the previous report that inhibin alpha and beta A subunit mRNA signals decline on proestrus evening. It is supposed that the cyclic change may be related with physiological phenomena prior to the ovulation, such as primary gonadotropin surges, loss of cummulus-oocyte gap junctions, or germinal vesicle breakdown. In both germ cells and Sertoli cells of the testis, alpha, beta A and beta B subunits were more abundant in the embryonic rat than in the mature rat. Although clear reactions with beta A and beta B subunits were detected in Leydig cells, alpha subunit was not detectable in the cells throughout the developmental stages examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of veterinary medical science / the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Apr
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • General Veterinary


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