Mucosa-Dependent, Stretch-Sensitive Spontaneous Activity in Seminal Vesicle

  • Mitsue TakeyaEmail author
  • Tokumasa Hayashi
  • Hikaru Hashitani
  • Makoto Takano
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1124)


Seminal vesicles (SVs), a pair of male accessory glands, contract upon sympathetic nerve excitation during ejaculation while developing spontaneous phasic constrictions in the inter-ejaculatory storage phase. Recently, the fundamental role of the mucosa in generating spontaneous activity in SV of the guinea pig has been revealed. Stretching the mucosa-intact but not mucosa-denuded SV smooth muscle evokes spontaneous phasic contractions arising from action potential firing triggered by electrical slow waves and associated Ca2+ flashes. These spontaneous events primarily depend on sarco-endoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER) Ca2+ handling linked with the opening of Ca2+-activated chloride channels (CaCCs) resulting in the generation of slow waves. Slow waves in mucosa-intact SV smooth muscle are abolished upon blockade of gap junctions, suggesting that seminal smooth muscle cells are driven by cells distributed in the mucosa. In the SV mucosal preparations dissected free from the smooth muscle layer, a population of cells located just beneath the epithelium develop spontaneous Ca2+ transients relying on SR/ER Ca2+ handling. In the lamina propria of the SV mucosa, vimentin-immunoreactive interstitial cells including platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα)-immunoreactive cells are distributed, while known pacemaker cells in other smooth muscle tissues, e.g. c-Kit-positive interstitial cells or α-smooth muscle actin-positive atypical smooth muscle cells, are absent. The spontaneously-active subepithelial cells appear to drive spontaneous activity in SV smooth muscle either by sending depolarizing signals or by releasing humoral substances. Interstitial cells in the lamina propria may act as intermediaries of signal transmission from the subepithelial cells to the smooth muscle cells.


Seminal vesicle Spontaneous contraction Mucosa Slow wave Intracellular calcium release Calcium-activated chloride channel Stretch Male reproductive glands Seminal fluid Male fertility 

Supplementary material

Video 9.1

Nerve-independent, spontaneous contractions of an excised guinea pig whole SV connected to an irrigator (3× speed replay) (M2V 87708 kb)

Video 9.2

Asynchronous spontaneous Ca2+ transients and subsequent ATP Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (100 μM)-induced Ca2+ transients in SV submucosal cells (3× speed replay) (MP4 4651 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsue Takeya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tokumasa Hayashi
    • 2
  • Hikaru Hashitani
    • 3
  • Makoto Takano
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Integrated Autonomic Function, Department of PhysiologyKurume University School of MedicineKurumeJapan
  2. 2.Department of UrologyKurume University School of MedicineKurumeJapan
  3. 3.Department of Cell Physiology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesNagoya City UniversityNagoyaJapan

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