, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp 195–200 | Cite as

Masking of sperm maturation antigen by sialic acid in the epididymis of the mouse

An immunohistochemical study
  • K. Toshimori
  • S. Araki
  • C. Ōura


Sperm antigen expression during epididymal transit was examined in 4- to 16-week-old intact and castrated ICR mice, using the avidin-biotin complex (ABC) immunohistochemical method with monoclonal antibody T21 against a flagellar surface antigen. On untreated sections, the antigen was first expressed weakly on sperm in the proximal part of the corpus epididymis, and intraluminal components were stained in 4-week-old mice. Epididymal epithelial cells and their stereocilia, and cells in other reproductive organs were not stained. In contrast, on sections treated with neuramainidase, (1) the initial site of antigen appearance is a more proximal position in treated than in untreated sections, (2) stereocilia stained strongly, (3) the staining intensity of sperm and intraluminal components increased, and (4) some clear cells in the epithelium from the distal position of the caput to the corpus epididymis were stained. These results indicate that the antigen is produced by clear cells of the epididymal epithelium, that the antigenic determinant is masked initially by sialic acid residues, and that expression of the antigenic determinant on the sperm surface during epididymal maturation apparently involves desialylation.


Sialic Acid Clear Cell Antigenic Determinant Sialic Acid Residue Distal Position 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Toshimori
    • 1
  • S. Araki
    • 1
  • C. Ōura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyMiyazaki Medical CollegeMiyazakiJapan

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