Characteristics of alpha smooth muscle actin-positive peritubular cells in prepubertal bovine testes

Yusuke Kawabe, Takashi Numabe, Kentaro Tanemura, Kenshiro Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Characteristics of peritubular myoid cells (PMCs) in sexually immature cattle remain largely unknown. Here, we report the character and behavior of peritubular cells expressing alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA), a marker of PMCs in adult testes, in prepubertal testes procured from 5-months-old bulls. Elastin distribution around αSMA + PMCs was dim and discontinuous in prepubertal testes, but strong and continuous in adult testes. Fibroblast-specific protein 1 (FSP1) was rarely expressed in αSMA + PMCs of prepubertal testes, while in adult testes, majority of αSMA + PMCs were FSP1+. Moreover, αSMA + PMCs in prepubertal testes proliferated more actively than those in adult testes. In vitro culture of isolated seminiferous tubules from prepubertal testes revealed that αSMA + PMCs migrate from peritubular to interstitial area. Hence, in prepubertal bovine testes, (1) PMCs rarely portray fibroblast-like properties, (2) PMCs exhibit heterogeneity in FSP1 expression, (3) PMCs proliferate more actively than those in adult testes, and (4) PMCs have a potential to migrate to the interstitium. Our observations help to understand the maturation of PMCs and their involvement in bovine testicular function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 18


  • Alpha smooth muscle actin
  • Fibroblast specific protein 1
  • Organ culture
  • Peritubular myoid cells
  • Prepubertal bovine testes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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